Countering Misuse of Administrative Resources During Electoral Process
12 september 2021
The Executive Director of the Center Volodymyr Venher has participated in preparation of international research focused on countering the misuse of administrative resources on elections. The research covered the relevant international standards as well as presented the short comparative analysis of the experience from Georgia, Latvia, and Ukraine. Volodymyr Venher has presented the Ukrainian part in his research.
The research is very important as the application of administrative resources in order to get benefits in election is quite widespread. This applies to countries with developed democratic traditions as well. However, the harshest problems can be detected in countries where democracy is still under development. The absence of strong democratic traditions, high level of political culture and stable ethical public management standards develop the space where the major instrument countering the misuse of power is mainly conducted through formal legislation. Therefore, the forms and instruments of administrative misuse are developing quite rapidly. Quite often, the administrative powers are misused via novel instruments requiring quick reaction and application of new limitations and restrictions. International standards and national legislation are simply not capable of being in line with new threats. Even if the correction of national legislation is precise and fast enough, the new forms of administrative misuse gets new forms.
Ukrainian experience in resisting administrative powers misuse during elections has quite a lot to teach us. National legislation includes quite a few instruments implementing international standards and sound practice of elections’ administration. Practice of its implementation is quite positive and demonstrates a sound level of success. However, such instruments still leave gaps which are being used by politicians and officials unlawfully.
The terribly negative and dangerous issue requires wider and more complex approach. It has to cover the powers and resources which may be unlawfully used in the election process and also take into account those resources which may be applied way before the elections start and also after they are over. Taking that into account, except for “classic” blocks regarding elections’ administration, financing political activity and agitation limitations, we analyze two additional non-standard blocks: misuse of legislative power and providing inevitability of legal responsibility.