The OSCE bureau on democratic institutes and human rights expresses its anxiety about the attacks on election stations during the election of Mukachevo mayor
The OSCE bureau on democratic institutes and human rights (BDIHR/OSCE) expresses its anxiety about the violations that took place at election stations during the election of the mayor of Mukachevo (the Zakarpatska oblast), which was held on past Sunday.
Although the BDIHR/OSCE did not intend to control the election, two representatives of the Department in charge of election questions of the BDIHR were in Mukachevo on the day of election. This visit was an element of the detailed study of election processes in Ukraine before the Presidential election-2004.
«The deep anxiety was aroused by the attack of unknown persons on an election station in Mukachevo during the calculation of votes, which was committed in presence of representatives of the BDIHR», pointed out Jerald Mitchell, the head of the Department in charge of election questions of the BDIHR/OSCE. «This brutal attempt of frustration of the election procedures is the attack on the fundamentals of democratic progress», he added. «This incident endangered the realization of the rights of about 1600 Ukrainian citizens, who properly fulfilled their civic duty at the election station. All criminals, who took part in this and other attacks must be immediately brought to responsibility».
On the day of election the representatives the BDIHR/OSCE witnessed a number of intimidations, in particular, the unusually great number of militiamen and unknown men, who gadded around the election stations.
Representatives of the BDIHR were also worried by the physical violence applied to the local observer by some strangers in presence of militiamen. This incident resulted in hospitalization of the observer. Besides, the secrecy of voting was endangered at some election stations during the election of the mayor.
The BDIHR/OSCE reckons that all these violations confirmed the importance of participation of observers from public organizations in the election process in order to increase the transparency and controllability of this process on all stages. Yet, new laws on election exclude the possibility of such observation, thus discriminating the rights of Ukrainian citizens.
The BDIHR/OSCE will continue to monitor the election events in Ukraine on the eve of Presidential election of 31 October.
The additional information can be obtained from Urdur Gunarsdotir, the speaker of the BDIHR/OSCE, councilor in charge of questions of the press and information, by phones: 48 22 5200600 or 48 603 683 122 (cell phone).
Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations