Civic protest continues in Kamianets-Podilsky over Arrest of the Mayor
Civic protests have been continuing in Kamianets-Podilsky since 21 September following the arrest of Mayor Anatoly Nesteruk. Residents at one of the first rallies elected a Committee for the Defence of Democracy with members from both right-wing and left-wing parties who consider the arrest to be unjust and a threat to freedom of choice. Hundreds of supporters of the arrested Mayor who gathered at the latest rally outside the City Council demanded a response from the Head of the City Electoral Commission as to why she does not want to register Nesteruk as candidate for the post of Mayor. They did not resort to blocking the work of the Commission since its Head, Tetyana Ostafiychuk came out to talk to them and promised the next morning to send a letter to the Central Election Commission asking for an explanation as to what to do in the specific situation which has emerged in Kamianets-Podilsky (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Smv1HLIY0&feature=player_embedded#! ).
The Kamianets-Podilsky City Electoral Commission is not agreeing to accept an application to register Anatoly Nesteruk as Mayoral candidate from authorized representatives, citing a norm of the law which envisages that a candidate submits documents in person.
Mr Nesteruk’s lawyer, V. Zarechnyuk says that the Commission may not refuse to register Mr Nesteruk since there is a document confirming that he is being held in the SIZO [remand unit], and adds that Mr Nesteruk has being notarized authorization to his wife to represent him. The lawyer says that if the Commission refuses, they will defend his right to vote and stand for office in the courts.
The arrest of Mr Nesteruk and another public official just over a month before elections he was widely expected to win and the degree of public outrage and support for the Mayor make attention to this case vital. More details can be found at: “Kamianets-Podilsky: Historic City defends democratically elected Mayor” http://www.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1286191022
New information from the Press Service of the Khmelnytsky Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine http://www.cvu.org.ua/doc.php?lang=ukr&mid=pu&id=2687&lim_beg=0
A march can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlNxwJ3_e-8&feature=player_embedded with the participants chanting “Our Mayor is Nesteruk”