Bodies of the Council of Europe systematically monitor the situation with ensuring the rights of internally displaced persons in the Council of Europe member states. According to the First Deputy Head of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to PACE, MP from the OPPOSITION BLOC Yuliya Lovochkina, following the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the need to ensure the participation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the elections was raised at the Plenary Session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
“Since 2015, in its resolutions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has repeatedly urged the Ukrainian authorities to properly ensure the social, economic and political rights of IDPs. In turn, at the 35th session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held on November 6-8 in Strasbourg, special attention was paid to the right to vote of IDPs. Resolution No. 419 (2018) adopted by the Congress emphasizes that it is the right to vote that is the starting point for the successful long-term integration of IDPs,” Yuliya Lovochkina emphasized.
The MP reminded that on the eve of the current session of the Verkhovna Rada, the OPPOSITION BLOC voiced its proposals on the agenda, and ensuring the right of IDPs to participate in the elections was one of the first points.
“We are convinced that the observance of the electoral rights of displaced persons is not only a guarantee of successful long-term integration of displaced persons, but also one of the key conditions for the preservation of representative democracy in Ukraine. If 1 million 700 thousand people are deprived of the right to fully participate in the elections, this will not allow objectively reflecting the will of Ukrainian citizens and will raise questions about the results of such elections – first of all, from our European partners,” she believes.
“The Ukrainian authorities should demonstrate their commitment to European values and the European integration course not in words but in action. And granting voting rights to IDPs will serve as a litmus of such readiness,” Yuliya Lovochkina concluded.