Week 9 of Parliamentary Election in Ukraine: Enemy of the State

Oct 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Election 2012, News, Ukraine

Here comes the Security Service of Ukraine, fake sociology, municipal workers destroying agitation tents and the flags of Party of regions on administrative buildings again.

6th Summary of “Maidan Monitoring: Election 2012” Project Findings

Parliamentary election campaign in Ukraine officially started on July 30th 2012. What had happened before that date we described in our previous reports (report #1, report #2, report #3, report #4 and report #5).

There were 874 violations added to our interactive map http://maidan.org.ua/vybory2012/?l=en_US as of Oct 3, 104 of which relate to the events happened during the last week (compared to 230 per two weeks in last summary, we switched to weekly summaries).

The most widespread still were campaign agitation order violations – 67 total.
29 cases document administrative pressure of different sorts.
17 cases of bribery of voters were reported.
14 reports deal with inequality of participants.
14 reports of obstruction of agitation were added.
12 cases of fraud were reported.
9 cases of illegal campaign financing were reported.
9 cases of violations in functioning of election commissions were documented.
6 cases of direct violence reported.
5 reports describe illegal publication of sociology data.
There was 1 case of unlawful coercion and 1 case of mass media rights violation documented.

Note that some cases included several categories of violations.

There were the court and scandal trails of the precinct election commissions (PEC) drawing previously and mostly confirmed what we noted before – the membership in many commissions is mostly forged. One court decision in Chudniv near Zhytomyr ruled that the head of district election commission violated the law by not providing the information about the membership of PECs to a party representative. However there are dozens of such cases in other locations when the participants were not smart or lucky enough to get such rulings. The problem of access to information becomes a focus of an election campaign.

We had several reports of illegal publication of sociology data that could indicate fake sociology. All reports deal with polls that give too high results to “Nasha Ukraina” party which are not confirmed by professional sociologists. The election law defines explicitly how the sociology data should be published during the campaign and this fake sociology usually violates the law. In addition described polls are usually “performed” by the companies with no background and experience.

Most outrageous case of both administrative pressure and obstacles in agitation happened in a Kalanchak village near Kherson where an 80-year old woman who was handling out the leaflets with agitation against Party of regions. Her appeal to citizens not to vote for Party of regions was filmed and published on youtube. Next day she was visited by the local police who claimed they got a phone call from Kyiv’s office of Security Service of Ukraine and were trying to explain the woman she has no right to handle out the leaflets.

Later the police visited again and asked who filmed her, trying to make her to write a “confession” like this – “a man was passing by, gave me the leaflets and filmed me”. She refused and woman’s relatives cast the police away after all. See her appeal, you may not understand the words but you will see how the “enemy of the state” looks like.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=JHt4U1FD3jg’]

As we noted before the government authorities are often trying to treat the meetings of candidates with voters as a peaceful assembly and file lawsuits to ban them on ridiculous pretexts. Sometimes it did not work like in Konstantinovka where they tried to ban the assembly of an experienced human rights activist and a candidate Vladimir Berezin; he and his team won in court. However the peculiarity of legal regulation of peaceful assemblies is very special and complicated issue and not all lawyers are familiar with it. Simply put if you never encountered it before you don’t know it really.

In Chernigiv the court supported the lawsuit of a local government and had forbidden the Batkivshchina party to meet voters on October 1st on a main city square. The ruling is absurd since all possible restrictions to agitation are written in election law, which does not give the right to local governments to restrict the agitation in any way.

In Kharkiv there were reports of agitation tents of two candidates (opposition and independent one) forcefully removed by unknown persons wearing orange vests similar to municipal workers wear). The events were filmed and there are witnesses; however police is mostly avoiding doing anything even when the offenders are caught on the scene of crime.

In Odesa all companies that own the billboards refused the candidate from UDAR party to place the political advertising claiming there is no free space left. The candidate’s aides filmed many empty billboards and placed parallel order for purely commercial ads and the space was suddenly found.

There are still the reports of flags of Party of regions displayed on administrative buildings – on a post office in Lisichansk (Luhansk region), local government of Ulyanivka village near Chernigiv and state culture club in Skadovsk near Kherson. Obviously the interference of ombudsman into this issue had not really help on a country wide basis. This kind of agitation is forbidden by the law.


Ukyanivka

Lisichansk

Skadovsk

All violations described could have serious impact on forming the elector’s decision how to vote or not to vote at all.

 

Note that only about 25% of reports we are getting are published on our map due to strict requirements of evidence provided.

Most violations reported during that period were localized in Odesa region (14), Kyiv city (13), Kharkiv region (13), Ternopil region (12).

Real time tables of violation stats can be accessed here http://maidan.org.ua/vybory2012/stats/en/ or from top menu of the map “STATS”. At the bottom of page you can find the link to download Excel tables. The tables are interactive – click and hover over everything. There are stats by locations, by districts, etc.

 


“Maidan-Monitoring: Election 2012” project is implemented by Civic Information and Methodology Center “Vsesvit”. It is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation. The project is not affiliated with any political party or candidate. We map the violations of electoral law submitted by any party or candidate if it meets the project requirements – video or photo evidence, background check and is evaluated by our lawyers as possible violation. Read more about the project.

 

2 Comments to “Week 9 of Parliamentary Election in Ukraine: Enemy of the State”

  1. […] What had happened before that date we described in our previous reports (report #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, […]

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