The monitoring carried out by a legal analysis team headed by the Committee of Voters of Ukraine was aimed at finding out, whether the current people's deputies meet the expectations and demands of the citizenry. For instance, the analysts checked, how the MPs performed their direct professional duties, whether they voted in person, attended meetings of the parliament and worked in committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
The analysts of the campaign paid specific attention to the financial transparency of MP's (whether an MP published his or her income statement for year 2011), the honesty (whether the lifestyle of an MP matches the wealth declared by him or her) and the integrity (whether an MP violated human rights and freedoms, whether she or he is implicated into corruption schemes, bribery and other unlawful acts, etc.).
The audit for the conformity with criteria was carried out on the basis of the information from open sources according to a specifically developed methodology published by the CHESNO initiators at the very beginning of the campaign (you can find it at http://chesno.org/static/19_01_2012_Chesno%20Metodology.pdf).
"The monitoring of 450 members of parliament is only a beginning of the civic audit carried out by CHESNO all over Ukraine. The second stage will involve auditing about 1,500 candidates running for office at the parliamentary election. Their integrity will be measured by 4 criteria: the unchanged political stance, the transparency of the declared income, the non-involvement into corruption, the clean human rights and freedoms record. We will bring the results of our audit to the voters directly: CHESNO platforms have been set up almost all over Ukraine", - Svitlana Zalishchuk, one of the CHESNO campaign participants comments.
According to an opinion poll carried out by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation in March and April this year, 64% of the population would not support a candidate known to be involved into corruption. 74% of the potential voters won't support a party, whose ticket contains candidates implicated into corruption.
In general, the CHESNO campaign criteria used to vet MPs and MP candidates were found to be important by the public. For instance, the publication of an income and property declaration was referred to as important by 71% of the Ukrainians, while the conformity of the MP's lifestyle with the income declaration matters for 74%; 61% of the population consider the interference with the work of journalists to be important; 66% of the poll participants deem it important that an MP votes in person (according to the DIF opinion poll held in December 2011).
"We do not see that many current MPs, who would meet CHESNO criteria to the letter; however, there are many people, who fail to meet only one criterion. Sometimes, we can see the MPs admitting the violations, such as the non-personal voting and pointed out to issues with voting personally like, for instance, Anatolii Hrytsenko. However, some political factions, the UDAR Party and the United Opposition, have already undertaken to vote personally in the future parliament. This is a considerable progress for Ukraine's political community, because this approach can ensure the personal political accountability of the future candidates and will legitimise the legislative process. We are convinced that meeting the criteria is not only the expectation of the voters and the civil society. This is necessary for politicians themselves, who can change the situation only by setting the new ground rules for the interaction with voters, having started from themselves", Viktoriia Siumar, a campaign participant, says about the first monitoring results.
The audit results and the CHESNO-METER, a new political accountability control tool, will be presented at the "Honest Conversation with the Future Parliament" Forum on 23 July. Leaders of the leading political factions and all MPs have been invited to take part in the Forum.