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    People stand inside voting booths at a polling station during a presidential election in the village of Kosmach in Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Ukraine 31 March 2019

    Have a Deeper Look Into Presidential Election Process in Ukraine

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On March 31, the presidential election will be held across Ukraine. According to the Constitution of Ukraine (1996), the president is the head of state. The president is elected on the basis of universal equal suffrage in a free direct election by secret ballot for a term of five years.

    Citizens of Ukraine who are not younger than 35 years, have permanently resided in Ukraine for at least 10 years and speak the state language may be elected president. The same person cannot hold the office for more than two consecutive terms.

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    A person, whose powers as Ukraine’s president were terminated before term, cannot be nominated as a candidate for the presidency in snap elections that were scheduled in connection with the said termination of powers.

    Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, calls presidential election. The regular presidential election in Ukraine is held on the last Sunday of March of the incumbent president’s fifth year of office.

    A decision to set a date for the presidential election is taken by the Verkhovna Rada not later than 100 days before the voting day. In case of early termination of powers, elections shall be held within 90 days from the day of termination.

    Elections are held in single-mandate constituency, which includes the entire territory of Ukraine and electoral districts abroad.

    Citizens of Ukraine who have reached the age of 18 years by the election day, have the right to elect a president of the country.

    Presidential candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by political parties. Each party can nominate only one candidate for the presidency, both a party member and a non-party citizen.

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    To register a candidate, there has to be a deposit in the amount of 2.5 million hryvnia (about $92,000).

    The money deposit is paid by the party that nominated the presidential candidate or by the candidate via bank transfer to the Ukrainian Central Election Commission’s (CEC) special bank account. If the candidate wins or appears on the ballot papers for re-voting, then the deposit is returned. In other cases, the deposit is not refunded and is transferred to the Ukrainian State Budget.

    The CEC makes a decision on the official registration of a candidate within five days from the date the documents were received. The CEC finishes the registration of candidates no later than 50 days before the election day.

    The election campaign begins the next day after the date of the official registration and ends at 24:00 hours on the last Friday before the election day.

    The form, color and text of the ballot paper for voting on the day of the election, as well as the form of the ballot paper for re-voting are approved by the CEC no later than 22 days before the election day. The text of the ballot for the second vote is approved no later than 10 days before the day of the second vote.

    The names of candidates for the presidency appear on the ballot paper in alphabetical order. Information about the candidate must contain the surname, name and middle name, year of birth, place of residence, place of work and position, party affiliation, and the nominator. There is a blank box in the ballot paper, to the left of the candidate’s information.

    Ballot paper is printed in the state language on a single page with a text part on one side only. It has a control card separated by a separation line. A control card contains a name of election, numbers of electoral district and polling place, space for a number, under which a voter is included in voters’ lists, space for a signature of a voter and space for name and initials of a commission member, who issued a ballot paper.

    Voting takes place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time. Repeat voting is held at the same time.

    Ballot papers are issued to voters upon the presentation of a passport of the citizen of Ukraine or a temporary identification document of a citizen of Ukraine.

    Member of a precinct election commission provides a voter with a voters’ list in order the latter put a signature next to his/her name; another commission member should write his/her name and initials on a control card, put signature and a number under which the voter is included in the voters’ list at the polling place. The voter signs a receipt of the ballot paper in the voters’ list and at a designated place on the control card of the ballot paper. After that, the commission member separates the control card from the ballot paper and issues the ballot paper to the voter. The control card is retained by that commission member, who issued the ballot.

    A voter marks the ballot in person in a polling booth and puts a "plus" sign ("+") or any other in a blank box next to the name of the selected candidate. Then the ballot paper is casted in a special box. Presence of other persons, photo and video shooting are prohibited during the process of filling in ballot paper.

    If a voter thinks that he/she has made a mistake when marking a ballot paper, he/she may report in writing to the election commission member and ask to give him/her a new ballot paper instead of the spoiled one.

    Disabled persons, who cannot mark a ballot on their own, have a right to be assisted by another voter except electoral commission members, candidates for the Ukrainian presidency, their proxies, and official observers with the consent of a commission chairperson or another member of electoral commission.

    The CEC identifies results of the Ukrainian presidential election at its meeting within ten days, but not later than on the third day after a date of receiving all the reports by polling commissions on the results of the voting and reports on the results of voting within the foreign electoral district.

    The registered candidate who receives over 50 percent of the votes of those, who took part in the voting, is to be declared the winner.

    If no more than two candidates were included in the ballot and no candidate was elected by the vote, the CEC can appeal to the Verkhovna Rada and ask to call a repeat voting.

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    Repeat voting is held on the third Sunday after the election day. A ballot paper for repeat voting includes two candidates who received the highest number of votes.

    If one of the candidates removes his/her candidacy not later than 12 days before the day of repeat voting, the next in line candidate participates in the election. If a candidate removes his/her candidacy at a later date, repeat voting is held with one candidate only.

    If two candidates are included in the ballot paper for repeat voting, the candidate, who gets the most votes of those, taking part in the repeat voting, shall be considered elected.

    If one candidate was nominated for repeat voting, he/she shall be considered elected if he/she receives more than half of the votes.

    If both candidates obtained the same number of votes in repeat voting, or if the repeat voting was on one candidate and he/she did not receive more than half of the votes, the election shall be declared void.

    The elected Ukrainian president should assume office no later than 30 days after the announcement of the official ballot result. The elected president takes the oath of office during a solemn meeting of the Verkhovna Rada.

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