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08.02.2010

CVU sees no grounds for appealing against the election outcome

   

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The Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] did not record a critical mass of violations which could have distorted the outcome of the presidential elections.

CVU observers found that:

  1. The general situation during the second round of voting and vote count on 7 February 2010 was more tense and difficult than during the first round on 17 February. The electoral process was characterized by a high level of conflict with respect to the work of commissions, ambiguous and mutually exclusive decisions issued by the Central Election Commission [CEC] and judges, deliberate provocation from the candidates’ teams aimed at disrupting the process or delaying the vote count. At the same time CVU did not find mass scale and systemic cases of vote rigging which could have altered or distorted voters’ choice.
  2. The most widespread and systemic phenomenon was the use of techniques aimed at mobilizing their own voters:

- organizing transportation en mass to polling stations;

- inclusion of people on the voter list at the decision of precinct electoral commissions;

- attempts by voters or members of commissions to vote for other people.

However these techniques were used in various regions by the teams of both candidates which is evidenced by a virtually identical turnout in eastern and western regions.

  1. Among other problems noted by CVU observers were the following:

- infringements of the rights of observers and members of the press with regard to their presence at polling stations;

- threats and pressure on members of commissions and observers;

- attempts to take ballot papers away and voter outside the polling stations;

- the appearance at polling stations of pens with vanishing ink;

- attempts to add ballot papers during the voting and the vote count;

- turning off the electricity at polling stations during the vote count;

- infringements of the procedure for counting votes and accepting protocols;

CVU cannot exclude the possibility that some of these infringements could serve as grounds for having the results of the elections at some polling stations declared invalid, however this will be in isolated cases.

  1. CVU stresses that the proper work was not carried out on taking into account changes to the voter lists made during the first round of voting. Many voters who were included on the lists on 17 January again found that their names were not on the list on 7 February.
  2. CEC in general coped with its duties regarding resolving problems arising on Election Day. At the same time the decisions of the CEC regarding the number of commission members that organize home voting added an element of chaos to the work of precinct electoral commissions.

The Committee of Voters of Ukraine recommends that:

  1. Political parties and candidates’ teams refrain from putting pressure on commission members and the courts and from using destruction forms of influence on the election outcome, as well as appealing against the results of the elections at polling stations and in general only where there are sufficient well-founded grounds for such appeals;
  2. The Central Election Commission establish the official results as soon as is feasible;
  3. The bodies responsible for keeping the voter lists in the nearest future input all amendments made during the voting on 17 January and 7 February;
  4. The Verkhovna Rada take into consideration all problems arising during these presidential elections and improve the Law on the Presidential Elections.
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