KIEV, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday passed a bill, which paves the way for the renewal of the country's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) ahead of next year's presidential and parliamentary elections.
The bill, which amended Ukraine's law on the CEC, was supported by 236 votes in favor, surpassing the minimum of 226 required, according to the statement on the parliament's website.
Under the new legislation, the number of seats in Ukraine's CEC was increased from 15 to 17, meaning that each parliamentary political force would have its representative in the CEC during the elections.
The establishment of the balanced election commission is one of the recommendations for Kiev made by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to ensure the smooth run of the elections.
Besides, some local experts pointed out that Ukraine's possible failure to renew the CEC could jeopardize the legitimacy of the elections as the term of office of the majority of the current commission's members has expired on June 1, 2014.
The presidential election in Ukraine is scheduled to be held on March 31, 2019, while parliamentary elections have been set for Oct. 27, 2019.