In Ukraine, Preventing Corruption With The Crowd's Help
A new online platform encourages Ukrainians to report election violations at a time when corruption has pushed back some of the gains made towards democracy.
Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
Parliamentary elections in Ukraine are scheduled for Sunday, and in an attempt to sidestep a growing tide of political corruption, an organization called ElectUA has created an online platform that will allow citizens to report any election violations. So far, more than 1200 cases have been submitted, and most of them have been confirmed. A message on the site says, "The advantage of the [project] is 'smart' crowdsourcing and a clear transparent system of information verification. A team of moderators checks all reports on violations."
What's the Big Idea?
These elections are generally being seen as a litmus test for democracy in Ukraine, with future relations with the European Union at stake. The country's democracy rating was downgraded by the organization Freedom House in 2011 after President Viktor Yanukovych imprisoned his primary opponent and increased executive powers, among other acts. Additionally, a report released last week revealed "abuse of administrative resources in support of the ruling [party], threats of violence against opposition campaign workers and at least 25 complaints alleging campaign violations." To that end, sites like ElectUA's may help ensure some level of transparency.
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