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18.09.2007

Committee of Voters critical of voter lists at polling stations abroad

   

On the day of the elections 30 September 420 thousand, 617 Ukrainians abroad will be able to vote. This is how many the working group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has included in its list of voters. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] calls this figure pitiful when compared with the number of Ukrainians outside the country.

The Head of the CVU Ihor Popov predicts that only 10 percent of those that the Ministry has placed on their list will be able to vote.  He explains this low figure as due to limited access to polling stations, and the lack of any real campaigning. He points out that no political party is seriously bothered about this electorate since the percentage of votes that they could gain from those abroad is too small and would have influence the outcome of the elections. “This problem cannot be resolved in such a way that all vote. This situation is typical for Moldova, Azerbaijan and the Balkan states where more than half the population is abroad and they simply don’t vote. After the abolition of absentee ballot papers the percentage of those able to vote only decreased. However the State is not particularly bothered about whether Ukrainian nationals abroad have the right to vote”. Mr Popov also noted that at foreign polling stations vote-rigging is theoretically possible since the principle of cross control in electoral commissions is only formally maintained.

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