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29.02.2020

Soon everywhere – Her Majesty Buckwheat, the last weapon of politicians and the temptation of voters from the dawn of time.

Bribery of voters remains a key issue in the electoral process in Ukraine. Participants always use loopholes in legislation to keep abreast of election campaigning and transparent political funding.

Meanwhile, bribery of voters is a crime against the suffrage of citizens, and a criminal responsibility has been established in Ukraine. For example, in 2018, a person went to prison for a 5-year term, who, in the election of the chairman and deputies of the united territorial community in Odesa region, was looking for residents of a district who were in a difficult situation, and offered them a bribe from a candidate. However, there have been less than 30 of such precedents since 2014, and most of the sentences have been rather lenient.

It is interesting that the voter who accepted the proposal and received an illegal benefit for voting for an individual candidate is also liable – this is mentioned in Part 1 of Art. 160 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (bribery of a voter). And, indeed, there is a real case against a resident of Ternopil region, who is still being tried for the cancellation of a criminal sentence.

But it is not even about the illegality of the electoral «buckwheat», as everyone seems to guess. It is a matter of disrespect, with which some of those who try to become a “people’s deputy”, from time to time, mistakenly and cheaply buy their votes. And about why voters themselves agree to be bought from time to time and then accuse someone “in power” that life is bad and there is no change for the better.

We live the way we have voted. And we unlikely will live any better until we realize that our voice is a capital, more expensive than the feeling of a short satiety, and our main investment in the future of children and grandchildren. Until we recognize ourselves as a power, and gross bribery is a shame.

And buckwheat – what is buckwheat? Useful nutritious cereals containing lots of vitamins and minerals, it can even replace meat. It has nothing to be ashamed. It is not a person and is not to elect – to be honest or to dishonor.

Nazar NOVAK/Gromada Skhid No. 3 (12) 2020