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02.08.2010

Scandal over cancellation of Izmail Mayoral elections

   

In Izmail local elections scheduled for Sunday were cancelled. Correspondents report that the city’s residents who have not had a Mayor for 2 years now did not know till the last moment whether or not to go to the polling booth. On Sunday they were informed that the Mayoral elections had been cancelled at the decision of the territorial electoral commission.

Voting papers seized by the police

The Verkhovna Rada in May scheduled spot elections for Mayor of Izmail for 1 August. However later parliament decided that local council elections would be held throughout the country on 31 October and cancelled the elections in Izmail.

The situation with the elections in Izmail is being compared to that with the cancellation of elections in Ternopil in March 2009 (those did, in fact, take place anyway – translator).

Representatives of the authorities came out against the elections, these including the Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Edward Matviychuk, as well as the Acting Mayor, Iryna Rudnichenko who was also standing for election, from the Party of the Regions.

Reports say that she refused to allocate funds for the elections and applied to the court to have the ballot papers seized.

Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU]: The elections were stopped by the authorities

Representatives of the Odessa CVU assert that the elections were stopped by the local authorities. The Head of the Odessa Regional Branch of CVU, Anatoly Boiko says that the voters are outraged by the actions of the authorities and that at some polling stations “they only just managed to avoid confrontation”.

Serhiy Tihipko, Leader of the Party “Strong Ukraine”, whose candidate was named among the leading contenders, had on the eve of the scheduled elections stated that the authorities of the Odessa region had made all effort to prevent the elections scheduled for 1 August and called the situation in Izmail a “rehearsal for the local council elections” on 31 October.

In 2009 the Constitutional Court issued a judgment regarding the situation with the Ternopil elections, stating that early elections scheduled by parliament may not be cancelled or postponed.

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