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08.09.2005

ON THE RESULTS OF THE SECOND ROUND OF VOTING IN THE KHARKIV REGION

   

According to figures from a parallel vote count based on the original protocols, at 11.00 on 22 November, 24.34% of voters in Kharkiv and Kharkiv region voted for Viktor Yushchenko (in Kharkiv – 28%), while Viktor Yanukovych received 69.89 % of the votes (in Kharkiv – 65%), with 4.1% supporting neither candidate. The number of actual voters had increased in the city by 10,5%, and in the region – by 6,5%. In our opinion, this is the result of flagrant violations of the Law on the elections, including coercion to vote, mass voting using absentee ballot papers, both in the city and in the region. In all, approximately 2,000 official reports have been compiled about violations of the Law.

For example, buses with license plates LAZ №6424 Р7 and №7551 Р1 were observed carrying cadets of the Air Force institute who voted in the Krasnokutsky district in the village Horodnye (polling station 101 Territorial Electoral District (TED) 183) and in other villages. Four buses in total with cadets from this institute travelled around the region. At polling station №26 and № 27 in the village Oleksiyivka fire fighter cadets arrived (by bus – an «Icarus» № 3431 ХА) to vote using absentee ballots. The same students were also in the village Vodyane. In Zachepilivsky region, passengers of a dark-blue «Volks­wagen» with licence plate 25393 ХВ voted with absentee ballots at several polling stations in the villages of Berdnyanka, Mazharov, and others. Military personnel voted with absentee ballots in the city of Lozov, at school №1, and in Kupyansk (polling stations 80 and 81). A white «Gazelle» №4367 with 19 passengers, and accompanied by a «Volga», №100-02-XF, drove around District по 184 where they voted at various polling stations. Employees of the regional State administration (regional departments of health, education, housing and municipal services, and others) left in five buses from the central city square to vote, possibly, in parts of the region. This movement was captured on video by a representative of the Human Rights Ombudsperson, Volodymyr Mukhin and State Deputy Kostyantin Sytnyk.

State Deputy Yaroslav Dzhordzik discovered that at polling station №168 TED №179 in the village Mospanovo of the Chuguyivsky region, in the morning 439 people had cast votes using absentee ballot papers (the voter list for this polling station has 1200 names in total). In the same village, a video was taken of a «carousel». In two cars with Russian number plates, ballot papers with Yanukovych’s name marked were being handed out, and people were being paid 100 hryvnyas[1] for their blank ballot papers. The head of the polling station refused to let Mr Dzhordzik enter the polling station, claiming that his documentation was forged. Later, when Mr Dzhordzik returned to this village, a column of cars without number plates blocked his car; he was forced to get out of the car, his mobile was taken away and he was taken to polling station No. 168.

In Kharkiv, there were also buses and cars travelling from one polling station to another, with passengers using absentee ballots at each place. For example, students from the Road Transport Academy voted in the Institute of Medical Radiology (polling station №74 TED 172). In Territorial Electoral District No. 176 (Kominternivsky and Chervonozavodsky districts) a LAZ bus with Kharkiv number places went to polling stations No. 22, 24 and 26. The movement from polling station to polling station of a «Ford» №921 52 ХК , as well as a grey «Volga» with red numbers 1523 ВК , were also recorded. The «Volga» drove from one polling station in the Dzerzhinky district to another taking four women who were seen to be holding 10-20 absentee ballot papers. They were observed, in particular, near polling stations № 72 and № 58. In the Frunzensky district a PAZ bus with number plate 215-09 ХА was observed. Its 10 passengers voted at a minimum of three polling stations.

A large number of instances were recorded where pressure was exerted on observers from Yushchenko’s party or even violence. For example, in Izyumsky district in TED №180 Andriy Propotylov, the deputy leader of the Izyumsky district headquarters of «Our Ukraine» was assaulted. Between the villages of Mikhailivka and Kapitolivka, a white car blocked his car, two unidentified individuals got out, smashed Andriy’s car window and damaged his video recorder.

There were many violations connected with voting off site, not at the polling stations. In TED No. 183 (Valkovskiy district) voter lists for those voting from home were divided into several sheets, and cars were sent out all at the same time. No room was found in the cars for observers from Yush­chenko’s party: a police officer was accompanying the members of the commission, therefore, they said, an observer wasn’t needed. Mass trips with ballot boxes and without observers from Yushchenko’s party were observed in Velykobulsky and other parts of the region. Names had been added to the list of people voting from home, who had made no application for this facility, the applications being written already after the voting all in one person’s handwriting (polling station №117 TED 182). At polling stations 73 and 85 of that electoral district, the commission members disappeared together with the ballot boxes and were not seen again. At polling station №3 TED 183 electors were not able to vote as some unknown individual had written, in their name, applications to vote from home.

At polling station No. 12 TED 181, 100 voters cast their votes in an open field. There are also a large number of recorded cases of people voting twice at different polling stations.

At some polling stations, representatives of law enforcement agencies and of local State administration interfered with the work of the Territorial Electoral Commissions. There were also some cases of campaigning on election day and the preparation of clean protocol sheets with the signatures of members of the district electoral commissions.

At the majority of polling stations in the city and region, press representatives (newspapers «Razom», «Skhid – Zakhid», «Privatna sprava», «Pravo znaty», the bulletin «Prava Ludyny»[2], etc) were not allowed to use video cameras nor to be present while the votes were being counted. The Territorial Electoral Commission of TED no. 171 (Dzerzhinsky district) even passed a special order regarding this question on 21 November, in which it stipulated that only journalists whose accreditation documents have a photograph on them would be allowed access. This was an unjustified limitation to the provision of the Law which gives «representatives of means of mass information (not more than two from any one media outlet)» the right to be present at sessions of the election commissions and at polling stations.

25 November 2004

Information was taken from Media-Group «Objective», Television News Agency, the Kharkiv Section of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, the Kharkiv regional headquarters of Viktor Yushchenko, and the Kharkiv Human Rights Group.



[1] 100 hryvnyas = approximately 20 US dollars, this being a fairly large sum for a lot of people in Ukraine (translator’s note)

[2] The newspaper titles mean, in the same order as above: «Together», «East – West», «Private matter», «The Right to know» and the bulletin «Human Rights» (translator’s note)

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