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Some interviewees mentioned how collecting signatures as an independent candidate was positive as a way of getting to know voters and as a means of communicating more widely that they were going to stand. One felt: -> “It was a useful way to talk to people.”

persons of each sex shall not exceed 80% of any integer group of five candidates starting from the second number of the electoral list (2-6, 2-11, 2-16, and so on up to the end of the list) of a political party or alliance of political parties and of each party included in an alliance for the National Assembly election under the proportional electoral system.

However, the substantial financial deposits required made it difficult for women to stand as independent candidates.

In practice this means that there must be at least one woman in every five candidates on a party list.

Independent candidates and elected The numbers of candidates who stand as independents is not large with the exception of the last 2014 election in Ukraine. Table 32: Independent candidates and independents elected Country

Independent candidates Men

Women

Independents elected Men

Women

34

8

77

28

66

7

Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Georgia

370

59

Moldova

4

4

Ukraine

1 649

287

95

Vacancies This is a particular issue in elections using a list system where the next on a party list gains the seat if a place becomes vacant. It has been used in some cases to overcome situations where there is a quota of women candidates and this is the case in Armenia. The law does not require that another woman should take the place of one who stands down. As the Armenian researcher explained this has led to the practice of women withdrawing after the elections (it is not clear whether or not this is prearranged) and being replaced by a man. In the case of the study countries Armenia, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, which have proportional representation (PR) systems, the vacancy is filled by the next person on the list. In majoritarian/plurality elections then new elections are held.

However, as the law does not specify that a woman who withdraws has to be replaced by another woman, the practice has developed that women withdraw after the list has been accepted and are replaced by men. 2 | Affirmative action In Georgia, the law allows affirmative actions to increase the number of women who are elected. In 2011, the Parliamentary Gender Equality Council proposed amendments to the Election Code of Georgia and the law on political parties that introduced voluntary quota. This introduced an additional 10% budgetary financing for a party that included at least two representatives of different sex in every 10 of the election party list.51 However, it was not successful in increasing the number of women candidates and elected, because out of 16 election subjects only six applied voluntary quota to their election lists, but none of these six political subjects crossed the election threshold of 5% in order to be represented in the parliament. Two main parties/blocs (United National Movement and The Georgian Dream bloc) had the least number of women in their election lists compared to other parties. The law does not specify that the additional funding would have to be spent on encouraging more women to stand or supporting women candidates and this aspect is being reviewed by the Parliamentary Gender Equality Council. In Belarus the president has set an informal of target of 30% of women in the National Assembly. Table 33: Quotas and affirmative action Country

Quota adopted

Legal Sanction requirement

Armenia

No

Yes

No

No

No

Azerbaijan

No

No

No

No

No

Belarus

Informal 30% quota

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Georgia

Voluntary quota

No

Moldova

No

No

No

No

No

Ukraine

No

No

No

No

No

Armenia is the only country that has adopted a legal quota for women in elections for the National Assembly. Election Code, Article 108. Nomination of Candidates for a Deputy to the National Assembly under the Proportional Electoral System, Part 1 requires -> that each political party or alliance of political parties shall have the right to nominate only one electoral list of candidates. A political party included in an alliance of political parties shall have no right to nominate a separate electoral list on its own behalf. The number of 60

Women’s political representation in the Eastern Partnership countries

Incentive

The political subjects, who did not comply with the voluntary quota, did not receive 10% additional budgetary financing in 2012. Since 2014 it has increased from 10% to 30%

Quotas 1 | Legal requirement

Enforce- Volunment tary

51 - Organic Law of Georgia on Unions of Citizens, Article 30.

Findings of the study

61

Women's Political Representation in the Eastern Partnership Countries  

Council of Europe regional study. Published 15 December 2016.

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