Ukrainian anti-corruption group Chesno has uploaded videos showing five instances in which Ukrainian MPs illegally cast votes in parliament on behalf of their absent colleagues, bringing the total number of such incidents caught by Chesno (which has kept records since Dec 2014) up to 161.
Knopkodavstvo, or button pushing, as the tactic is known, has plagued voting in Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, for years: MPs use other deputies' identification cards and surreptitiously press the "for" or "against" buttons on their absent colleagues' voting machines in order to help approve or reject a piece of legislation. Though defenders say voting by proxy helps parliament make quorum when attendance is low, knopkodavstvo clearly violates the constitution, which mandates that deputies vote in person.
Knopkodavstvo is widespread: only two parties represented in the current Rada, former Prime Minister Yluliya Tymoshenko's Fatherland party and Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy's Self Reliance party, have not had deputies found to be engaged in the tactic. Chesno, which means "honestly," maintains a database of button pushers (knopkodavi) and has called for the practice to be abandoned: since December 2014, 76 MPs have used the tactic, with many having done so multiple times. The most egregious case is that of Oleksandr Urbansky, a member of President Petro Poroshenko's eponymous parliamentary bloc (BPP), who has engaged in knopkodavstvo ten times.
Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Watchdog Catches MPs Casting Multiple Votes, Again
[Isaac Webb/Global Voices]