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Ukraine: President’s Name and Portrait Cannot Be Used in Election

(Sept. 22, 2010) On September 16, 2010, President Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine issued a decree aimed at preventing legal violations during the current election campaign, which started nationwide on September 11. On October 31, 2010, Ukrainians will elect provincial and local councils, mayors of all municipalities, and representatives to other bodies of self-government. (Decree of the President of Ukraine, No. 910/2010 of September 16, 2010 [in Ukrainian], President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich official website,

While the decree reiterates the obligation of the Central Election Commission and the Office of the Attorney General to oversee the adherence of all participants of the electoral process to the country's laws, it contains a provision that is novel to Ukrainian legislation. The decree prohibits the use of the pictorial image of the President of the Republic and/or his name in election propaganda materials. All candidates are banned from using their images if they are photographed together with Yanukovich and from mentioning the President's endorsement. The decree also emphasizes the necessity of enforcing intellectual property and privacy laws in regard to the protection of the rights of other public figures and officials in connection with the use of their image. Additionally, the decree establishes that the name and/or the image of the President of Ukraine can be used in advertisements for public services only after the President's consent has been given. (Id. § 5.)