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Opora: mercenaries threatened the voters in Donbas

Opora: mercenaries threatened the voters in Donbas
Article by: Yana Polyanska 
Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
According to preliminary expert conclusions, the parliamentary elections in Ukraine went democratically and in accordance with international norms. In particular, the administrative resource was barely used, and there were 3-4 times fewer violations than at the 2012 presidential elections, when Viktor Yanukovych came to power. Observers add that an absolute majority of the documented violations did not have systemic but a procedural nature and were solved on the spot. At the same time, experts note that the most problematic was the majority component – the candidates competed for the districts using unfair technologies.

During the October 26 voting, 805 violations of the electoral process were documented in the entire period, reports head of the Voter’s Committee Olexiy Koshel. The absolute majority of them is insignificant, such as opening the polls with a delay or a lack of informational posters at the polls. Besides, there was illegal propaganda on the ‘day of silence,’ and sometimes even on the day of the vote. In particular, according to him, this was noticeable in the activities of Petro Poroshenko’s Block, Svoboda and Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party.

“I think that these elections are the first in the past 10 years when the absolute majority of the violations were solved immediately on voting day,” says the expert.

However, Koshel says, observers detected the customary instances of bribery, notorious ‘carousels’ and machinations with the stamps. However, thanks to the fact that the Internal Ministry at these elections cooperated closely with the observers, the lawn enforcement found out about the violations operatively and reacted to them.

VCU: the most problematic was ‘Oles Dovhy’s district’

“There are individual problematic districts. First and foremost, I am talking about the so-called ‘Oles Dovhy electoral district’ (district #102, Kirovohrad oblast – ed.). There were social agreements made, and according to our observers, the voters received rewards for these social agreements. There was bribery and pressuring of committee members,” says Olexiy Koshel.

The Voters’ Committee of Ukraine is asking the Central Electoral Committee to deem the elections in the Dovhy district void, as well as in some single-mandate districts of Donetsk oblast. In particular, in district #45 (center in the town of Kurakhovo of Donetsk oblast), where Yukhym Zvyahilsky, member of the Party of Regions faction, honorary president of the Zasyadko mine, won.

However, head of the CEC Mykhaylo Okhendovsky already stated that there are no legal reasons to consider the results invalid. According to him, it is only possible to void the results if the results at all polling stations in the district are deemed invalid.

“The law does not prescribe deeming the voting in a district void. The law prescribes the possibility of voiding the results at individual voting stations,” said Okhendovsky.

Opora: People’s Front in the lead, Svoboda, Civil Position and Strong Ukraine do not pass

Observers from the civil network Opora also supervised the elections. In order to make sure that the CEC is calculating attendance and results correctly, the experts made their own parallel calculations.

Opora received the following parliamentary elections results after processing all the protocols: People’s Front is in first place with a result of 21,9%, then Petro Poroshenko’s Block (21,3%), Samopomich (10,6%), Oppositional Block (9,6%), the Radical Party (7,5%) and Ukrainian union Batkivshchina (5,7%). According to Opora, the 5% barrier was not surpassed by Svoboda, Civil Position and Strong Ukraine.

However, it is too early to consider these results valid before the CEC publishes the results.

Opora: attendance is quite high, taking into account the events in Donbas

Besides the polling results, Opora also calculated the Ukrainians’ attendance at the elections – 51,2% (margin of error – 1,9%). According to network coordinator Olga Ayvazovska, attendance “is quite high, taking into account the events in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.”

“There was intimidation, threats towards the members of electoral committees and voters, which sounded from armed terrorist groups, which, naturally, decreased attendance in these regions as such. However, if we talk about the elections in general, an absolute majority of the candidates had equal conditions during this electoral campaign and on voting day,” says head of Opora network.

Ayvazovska: the security factor was key during the voting in Donbas

Ayvazovska emphasizes that the results of the voting in Donbas were influenced more by the security factor than by electoral programs and campaigns.

“In particular, in district #112 of Luhansk oblast on the eve of election day, flyers from the so-called ‘LNR’ were spread. They noted that everyone who participated in organizing the voting would be shot, and those who went to vote would have their social benefits and pensions taken away,” says Ayvazovska.

At the same time, according to Opora experts, the CEC made the right decision when it decided against holding the elections on mercenary-occupied territories: 9 districts of Donetsk and 6 districts of Luhansk oblast.

“Otherwise neither Ukraine nor the Central Committee would have any possibility of ensuring a legal electoral process both during the campaign and on voting day,” the expert concludes.

International observers consider the elections democratic

Overall, international observers preliminarily deemed the early parliamentary elections as such that were held in accordance with international norms and standards. In particular, the International Republican Institute, the OSCE, the European Network of Electoral Observation Organizations, the Ukrainian World Congress, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Ukrainian Community in France all congratulated Ukraine with a fair vote.

The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry also considered the Ukrainian elections legitimate, stated deputy head of the Russian MFA Grigori Karasin to Interfax.

“We await the official results, so far there is contradictory information. However it is already clear that despite a cruel and dirty campaign, the elections did happen,” said he.

According to deputy head of the CEC Andriy Mahera, the Central Electoral Committee expects that tomorrow the representatives of district electoral committees will begin delivering freshly-stamped protocols with the polling results.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
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