Authorities did everything for falsification of the election
The Ukrainian Helsinki Union of human rights, in cooperation with organizations-partners, realized the permanent monitoring of observance of human rights during the election campaign-2004 in Ukraine. We fixed brutal violations of human rights and election laws, serious both by scale and by consequences. The election was carried out in the atmosphere of pressure on voters exerted by the state power. The practice of political persecution of public activists has been restored in our country, for the first time during the years of independence international human rights protecting organizations have acknowledged the existence of prisoners of consciousness in Ukraine.
Under such conditions the election, which has been conducted in Ukraine, cannot be regarded either as free, or as honest, or as transparent.
On the day of the run-off, 21 November 2004, noticeable violations of election rights of citizens were observed.
The mass phenomena during the second tour of the election of the President of Ukraine was the misuse of power and impediment to the expression of citizens will by means of using the «off-list tickets» (certificates authorizing a person to vote off the precinct, where he or she is registered). In Western regions of Ukraine the organs of state power and heads of state enterprises forced their workers to take such tickets at district election stations and pass the tickets to their chiefs. So, the workers of the Mykolayivska interregional state tax administration of the Lviv region turned to the local court with the complaint against such actions of their manager. The actions of the STA head were acknowledged to be illegal. There were hundreds of such complaints handed to election commissions, law-enforcing organs, election headquarters of candidates and mass media. Most of these actions did not get any legal assessment, and the guilty were not brought to juridical responsibility envisaged by law.
In many regions of Ukraine, in particular, in the Kherson and Sumy regions and in the Crimean Autonomous Republic, the facts were fixed of voting with the off-list tickets by the same persons on the territory of different election circuits.
For instance, Crimean dweller Anatoliy Shaydur got several off-list tickets in district election commission No. 60 of territorial election circuit No. 10. He used ticket No. 057417 for voting at election station No. 66 and ticket No. 057402 – at station No. 67. Besides, he was included into the list and voted at election station No. 63.
In Severodonetsk a group of students was disclosed, who voted with the off-list tickets at election station No. 33 of TEC No. 113, and then did the same at station No. 30 of the same circuit. The complaint handed to the territorial election commission in the connection with this fact was not considered – the commission refused to include this question into the agenda.
Such tricks had the mass character in Southern and Eastern regions of Ukraine, owing to which the attendance of voters was essentially «increased».
The human rights protecting organizations permanently obtained the information that the organs of state power obliged the district commissions to fulfill the «plan»: to guarantee the attendance of not less than 90% of voters in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, and the commissions fulfilled the order with brutal violations of law. During the voting the great number of facts was fixed, when the members of commissions and other persons, to whom, contrary to law, the lists of electors, who did not vote, were passed in the Crimea and in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, phoned to these people and persuaded them to come to the election stations. Such actions of election commissions may be regarded as misuse of powers given to district election commissions by Article 27 of the Law «On election of the President of Ukraine» and direct violation of the demands of Article 5 of this Law, which prohibits exertion of pressure on voters. Besides, at the stations (or near them) representatives of power organs, establishments and enterprises stayed, registering their workers, who came to the election.
In the Lugansk, Nikolayev and Donetsk regions, in the Crimean Autonomous Republic and in Sevastopol City the lists for voting at the place of residence included not only those, who could not come to election stations because of poor health, but also other persons.
The district election stations acted so because they were obliged by representatives of the organs of state power to increase the attendance of voters.
The election commissions in the Sumy, Lugansk and Donetsk regions impeded the work of observers and representatives of mass media. Journalists and observers, who made video records on the day of voting, faced most negative reaction. So, Oleksiy Svetikov, an activist of local human rights protecting organization and a journalist of the newspaper «Tretiy sektor» in the Lugansk region, was beaten by strangers near the entrance to election station No. 27 of TEC No. 113. Video camera and the cassette with the materials recorded at the election station were taken away from him. We insist that all data on application of violence against persons, who took part in the election process, must be immediately considered by law-enforcing organs and the guilty must be found and brought to criminal responsibility. The persons, who impeded the free expression of citizens will, must be also punished in accordance with law.
We have to state that the organs of state power of Ukraine took the active part in the election process, using various illegal methods creating obstacles for conduction of the election campaign by representatives of the political opposition and, contrary to laws, supporting the candidate from power. The local state administration fulfilled the noticeable amount of work in favor of candidate to Presidents post V. Yanukovich.
Contrary to laws, the entire process of election and its separate stages, in particular, forming of election commissions, pre-election agitation, calculation of votes and establishment of the results of voting were completely controlled by the organs of state and executive power, both in the center and in province.
The results of our monitoring in many regions of Ukraine, in particular, in the Lugansk region and the Crimean Autonomous Republic, evidence on the great number of violations of election laws, which had the essential influence on the results of the election.
The law-enforcing organs of Ukraine could not guarantee the safety of voters, which was confirmed by the facts of violent actions against the voters and observers in the Sumy, Cherkasy and Lugansk regions. We are especially worried by the messages about mass persecutions of the persons, who took part in the activities in favor of political opposition in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions.
So, we reckon that the Central Election Commission should not only fulfill the function of arithmetic calculation of votes, given for candidates according to protocols of election commissions, but also take into account the circumstances, under which the voting and calculation of votes at election stations were carried out.
The decision of the CEC about the results of the election of the President of Ukraine, announced on 24 November 2004, evidences that, instead of the unbiased attitude to all participants of the election process and thorough study of all circumstances, which might cause the falsification of the results of the voting, this organ did not fulfill its main function of an organizer of the election process in Ukraine, but legitimated the will of the persons, who embodied the state power in our country.
The project of video supervision over the observance of human rights during the election of the President of Ukraine was realized by the Chernigiv public committee of human rights protection with financial support of the International Foundation «Vidrodjennia».
Participants of the project:
1. Vinnitsa human rights protecting group
2. Public committee for the protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens (Lugansk)
3. Lugansk regional branch of the Voters committee of Ukraine
4. Institute of economic-social problems «Respublika» (Kyiv)
5. Sevastopol human rights protecting group
6. Institute of implementation of innovations (Zhytomir)
7. Institute of social research (Simferopol)
8. Kharkiv group for human rights protection
9. Kherson town association of journalists «Pivden»
10. Kherson regional organization of the Voters committee of Ukraine
11. Center of study of regional politics (Sumy)
12. Chernigiv public committee of human rights protection
13. Sumy commission of human rights protection
14. Christian-peoples union of Transcarpathian area (Uzhgorod)