The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed the law 1703-V?? amending Criminal Code of Ukraine on strengthening liability for violation of voting rights of citizens. It was informed by the press-service of the head of state. According to this law, particularly criminal responsibility for bribery of a voter or a participant of referendum was strengthened. Thus, acceptance of offer, promise or receiving by a voter or third person any unlawful benefit for acting or omitting an action related to the direct implementation of his voting right, is punishable by the fine from 100 until 300 non-taxable minimum income or corrective labor for the term up to two years or limitation of freedom for the same term. An offer, promise or providing a voter with unlawful benefit for any actions related to the direct implementation of his voting right is punishable by the limitation of freedom for the term up to three years or imprisonment for the same term with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or be engaged in a certain activity for the term from one to three years. Pre-election agitation by means of providing unlawful benefit or free goods, work or services to the enterprises, institutions or organizations is punishable by the limitation of freedom for the term from two to four years or imprisonment for the same term with deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or be engaged in a certain activity for the term from one to three years. Besides, the law strengthens penal sanctions for committing crimes related to the violation of voting rights of citizens. Thus, term of imprisonment has been increased from two to three years for the prevention of unimpeded implementation of a voting right or right to participate in a referendum, prevention of activity of another subject of a voting, member of the election committee or official observer executing his authorities, combined with bribery, fraud or force. This crime will be qualified as an offence of a medium gravity. Respective actions committed upon preliminary agreement by a group of persons or by a member of election committee or by another official with the use of his authority, in particular, lead to the imprisonment for the term from three to seven years, and due to this a crime will be qualified as a serious offence. Also, in particular, unlawful demand or order of the official with the purpose to influence a decision of election committee (imprisonment for the term from five to ten years), forgery of voting documents (imprisonment from three to seven years), theft or concealment of election box with votes or protocol on calculation of number of votes (imprisonment from five to seven years) are referred to serious crimes. The law stipulates criminal responsibility for receiving an election bulletin or bulletin for a vote during a referendum by a person not authorized to receive it (fine from 100 to 300 non-taxable minimum income or corrective labor for the term up to two years, or limitation of freedom for the term up to three years). ‘It is supposed that the law will facilitate maintaining protection of voting rights of citizens, strengthening responsibility for its violation, approaching legislation of Ukraine to the legislation of the EU’ – it is reported.
It should be reminded that on 14 October deputies supported the draft law # 4741 amending Criminal Code of Ukraine (regarding strengthening liability for violation of voting rights of citizens) in a second reading.
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