Public organizations and experts have said internally displaced persons (IDPs) can vote in Ukraine’s presidential elections, noting the procedure for changing the place of voting, and have urged the Verkhovna Rada to adopt draft law No. 6240. The measure will allow mobile categories of citizens and internally mixed individuals to exercise their voting rights at all levels.

“IDPs, residents of the occupied territories and other mobile categories of citizens within the country can exercise their right to elect the head of state and, in my opinion, should do this,” Hrupa Vplyvu (Group of Influence) Director Tetyana Durnyeva said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.

She recalled that in 2014, about 2 million residents of the Donetsk region could not take part in voting at the presidential election due to the occupation of district election commissions and the terrorist threat. She said at parliamentary elections the same year only a small number of voters registered in the temporarily occupied territory used the procedure of temporary change of the place of voting.

“There are no obstacles to the realization of the right to vote if people use the procedure of temporarily changing the place of voting without changing the voting address,” Durnyeva said, adding that statements and passports with registration in the temporarily occupied territory is sufficient.

Durnyeva said Ukraine’s parliament should adopt draft law No. 6240, which would allow mobile categories of citizens within the country to exercise electoral rights in elections at all levels.

Oleksandr Kliuzhev, an analyst of the Civil Network Opora, thanked the representatives of local self-government who raised questions about the need to adopt the bill No. 6240.

“I think that for the Verkhovna Rada such activities should be an example to finally solve this problem in 2019,” he said.

Kliuzhev said Ukraine has all the infrastructure and public conditions to solve the problem of ensuring the electoral rights of internally displaced persons and other categories of citizens who are mobile within the country. According to him, the upcoming elections will be the first test for the state on the ability to ensure voting for mobile categories of Ukrainians.

Interfax-Ukraine