13.12.2002 | Igor Stoliarov, Odessa

Pre-election scandals in Kirovograd


A new pre-election scandal burst our in Kirovograd. Valeriy Kalchenko, a candidate to mayor’s post and to the Supreme Rada, who is now the head of the oblast organization of the political party „Batkivshchina“, is taken off the list of candidates.

Kirovograd dwellers up to now are ignorant why Oleksandr Nikulin, the present mayor, is kept in the preliminary prison for such a long time. The opposition press believe that he will be released immediately after the election. O. Nikulin is especially dangerous for the authorities, since he was one of those mayors, who loyally treated the participants of the all-Ukrainian action „Ukraine without Kuchma“. The regional power included into the list of the politically dangerous also Yulia Timoshenko’s bloc. Having to pretexts to put the activists of the bloc to prisons, the authorities take them off the election race. That was what happened with Valeriy Kalchenko.

In the opinion of many regional politicians, Kalchenko is one of a few most suitable candidates, who have the chance to become the mayor.

Kirovograd lawyer Andrey Sirnov said: „The removal of Valeriy Kalchenko from the registration was a political order of his opponents. The court ignored all the arguments offered by Kalchenko’s side.

In fact, according to the court decision, Valeriy Kalchenko overdrew his election fund as a candidate to the mayor’s post. The grounds of the decision were the leaflets paid from the account of Kalchenko in his capacity of a candidate to the Supreme Rada. The leaflets read: „I want to revive the town. Valeriy Kalchenko“. The leaflets were registered in the district electoral commission and did not contain any open agitation of Kalchenko as a future mayor. The court did not take this argument into account“.

Andrey Sirnov stated that Valeriy Kalchenko, as a candidate to the Supreme Rada, had the right to spread the leaflets with the mentioned neutral text.

Now the appeal is handed. The oblast organization of the party „Batkivshchina“ is sure that Valeriy Kalchenko will be restored as a candidate to the mayor’s post. Vasyl Onopenko, a well-known lawyer, will now defend Kalchenko’s rights in Kirovograd.

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