ELECTION-2002. How Yulia Timoshenko met voters in Kharkov
On 26 February a meeting was planned of Yulia Timoshenko, the head of the bloc BYT (which is called "beauty" by some more educated people), with voters in the "Ukraine" hall in Kharkov. Kharkov election headquarters of Yu. Timoshenko concluded the contract in time and paid the rent – 3 thousand UAH. No one could anticipate any obstacles for the meeting – a week before Natalya Vitrenko also met with voters in the same hall. Yet, the doors of the hall appeared to be not penetrable for Ms. Timoshenko… According to Anatoliy Zdorovy, the head of the union of political prisoners, who is a member of Timoshenkos election headquarters, the hall administration cancelled the rent contract and refused Yulia Timoshenko on the order of the oblast authorities, who, in their turn, got the orders from Kyiv. There is another version that the meeting was cancelled after the decision of the conciliatory commission of the city executive committee.
We believe that it is not especially important who personally took this decision, which is very far from being called reasonable and well grounded. The meeting with the BYT representatives Yulia Timoshenko and Anatoliy7 Matvienko was held outdoors near the "Ukraine" hall. The meeting lasted almost the whole day long, and occasionally about 3 thousand persons were present.
Yu. Timoshenko must be obliged to the authorities for good advertisement, and we, for the umpteenth time, must state that we, Ukraine, still have a long way to go to a law-abiding state and honest election.
By the way, those, who came to the meeting being not sure that they would vote for Timoshenkos bloc, returned Timoshenkos fans. The reason is the attitude of the power not only to Yulia Timoshenko, but also to the citizens, who want to make their choice consciously.
Head of the Kharkov oblast administration Evhen Kushnariov commented the situation to the "Ukrinform" informational agency: "Timoshenko got the refusal to hold the meeting with voters in the "Ukraine" hall on because this hall is not suitable for holding the meetings with political figures". Now Kharkovites are at a complete loss, since everybody knows that the hall is regularly used for the concerts of Russian songsters.
So we wonder if E. Kushnariov regards Natalya Vitrenko, an MP and the head of one of Ukrainian socialist parties, not a political figure, but a music-hall singer, in contrast to Yulia Timoshenko?