Oleksiy Danilov: Elections to local councils on October 25 may be the most difficult in recent times, as they will be held under the growing epidemic threat
A meeting on ensuring the security of the election process was held at the Main Situation Center at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine; Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov chaired the meeting.
Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov, Head of the Central Election Commission Oleh Didenko, First Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Ruslan Demchenko, Deputy Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Oleksiy Solovyov, Chairman of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine Serhiy Deyneko, Head of the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine Yuriy Shchyhol, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko, Deputy Minister for Communities and Territories Development of Ukraine Viacheslav Negoda, Deputy Chiefs of the National Police of Ukraine Oleh Kozlovsky and Oleksandr Facevych attended the meeting.
During the meeting, a number of issues concerning the proper and safe organization of local elections in Ukraine on October 25 this year were discussed. In particular, the NSDC Secretary stressed that these elections will be one of the most difficult in recent times, as they will be held under the growing epidemic threat. “Today’s figures, which we receive from the analysis of the COTA software and hardware complex, give us an understanding that we cannot allow the epidemic situation to get out of control during the local elections”, - he said emphasizing the need of strict adherence to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health at polling stations, in particular in terms of the observance of social distance, provision of disinfectants and the mask regime.
Also, according to Mr. Danilov, one of the challenging issues to address is the timely materiel support of the CEC, which requires prompt legislative regulation. The CEC Chairman Oleh Didenko, in turn, stressed the need to ensure the voting rights of all citizens during quarantine, including patients with COVID-19, as well as the importance of ensuring security at polling stations during the long counting of votes due to the proportional electoral system.
Mr. Danilov also stressed the vital importance of preventing manipulations at polling stations, transportation safety, strict adherence to the rules of storage, and counting of ballots. In this context, he noticed that since September 5, this year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine should monitor election violations, in particular attempts to manipulate, falsify, and distort voting results.
According to the MIA representatives, a number of measures have been worked out in this direction, including cooperation with the “OPORA” public network, etc., practical training with representatives of election commissions are planned to ensure readiness to deal with violations of election legislation.
Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov called for paying special attention to the proper information and technical support of the election process, in particular, the work of the “Local Elections” system. According to him, the SSU will use additional means to prevent any attempts to interfere in the work of the CEC’s automated systems.
Mr. Bakanov also stressed the need to legislate the impossibility of including in the voting lists of persons who cooperate with the aggressor state, as well as persons who have the citizenship of other states.
In addition, for preventive purposes, the SSU will provide all participants of the election process with information about criminal liability for violating Ukraine’s election legislation.
Summarizing the discussion, Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov noted that the upcoming local elections should be held as openly, democratically, and secure as possible, as “they are the face of our state”.