Financing of Citizens’ Political Unions and Election Subjects
Regulation of vote buying is rather ambiguous and unforeseeable; further, definitions and applicable sanctions are stipulated by three different legislative acts, which necessitate harmonization of the existing regulations with one another.
We believe that harmonization of the noted definitions and removal of ambiguities allowing for broad and unsubstantiated interpretation of vote buying is necessary. For instance, the criminal norm envisaging liability “for making ostentatious, malicious or any other agreement for the purpose of averting legal prohibitions” is a cause of concern. We believe that by stipulating the foregoing the norm acts well beyond its goals and establishes liability for aversion of any prohibitions of the law. Nature of the norm has also been proven problematic by its interpretation. Further, current formulation of the provision envisages criminal liability for vote buying by imposition of fine or up to three years of imprisonment. The action must be decriminalized in view of not only relevant international experience but also the existing background in the country and in particular the social hardships like unemployment, high rate of poverty, law awareness of voters, etc.