10.03.2005 | Konstantin Reutskiy, Lugansk

On the course of voting of 26 December: Lugansk (Konstantin Reutskiy, Lugansk). Reports on the course of voting on 26 December


During the repeated voting of 26 December I worked in a district election commission in one of the poorest district of Lugansk – the Kamennobrodskiy district.

The strongest impression was made on me by the so-called “quarterpersons”. They are special women, which work as registrars and passport clerks in the districts with owner-occupied dwellings. They have close, but, as a rule, not official, relations with local power.

The quarterpersons, getting their fees, by words of the district dwellers, from personal funds of the head of the district executive committee, purposely heated the atmosphere before the voting, first of all, among aged people. Several days before the voting they actively spread the rumors about the “oranges”, who were allegedly going from house to house and threatening that they would physically avenge on everybody, who would vote for Yanukovich. The quarterpersons even openly spoke about that in the commission, cynically lamenting that “the people is infuriated”. On the day of voting they openly agitated for Yanukovich at the entrance to the school, where the election station was situated.

On Sunday the quarterpersons, who, during several weeks, had accustomed people to be afraid of and hate the supporters of Viktor Yushchenko, drove, almost by force, the infirm old people to the election stations in order to cry before the TV cameras: “Look, what have you done with the people!” Some old women were so weak that we were afraid that they would die on the spot. Well, maybe Yanukovich’s headquarters wanted just this result. Otherwise I cannot understand for what they emphatically dragged to the election stations old people of 80-90 years old, the people, for whom it did not matter who would become the president, who were not able either to pronounce or to memorize candidates’ surnames.

Undoubtedly, the state of old people was equally hard throughout the country. Yet, such cynical speculation with this situation was possible only in the Donets Basin. One can hardly say about systematic violations during the repeated election on 26 December, but the methods and ethical principles of V. Yanukovich’s pre-election agitation in Lugansk have been outrageous. I believe that at least the authors of the pre-election strategy of Yanukovich, aimed at fanning of interethnic discord, should be brought to legal responsibility for all crimes committed at their suggestion.

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