CVU expects wide-scale challenges to election results
According to Oleksandr Chernenko, Head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU], many of the abuses during the election campaign are not breaches of the law. He reports the greatest problems with the legitimacy of these elections being in the central and southern regions
In view of the numerous reports of violations and administration pressure, however legitimate will the local elections be?
There are two components. Very many of these abuses are not in breach of the law. Both violations of the principle of equal representation in the electoral committees and the very frequent refusal to register parties, all of this is formally within the law. This law is written in such a way that it allows this. That’s the first part. The other element is that we are indeed talking about numerous high-profile cases of violations, however it must be understood that in Ukraine there will be 15 thousand different elections, and in the vast majority of these elections there are no significant problems.
Nonetheless the cases that we are speaking of present a generally ugly picture of the elections. If we were to speak of declaring the elections illegitimate, then there is no need to speak of the country as a whole, but about specific elections and specific cases. There are certain very many hot spots at these elections.
For which regions is the issue of legitimacy most acute?
Here we can focus not even on regions, but on districts [rajon] and cities. In one oblast there are cities / towns where the situation is very bad, while in a neighbouring city everything is going smoothly. If we speak of the global picture, then there are problems in the central regions, the Kyiv, Kirovohrad and Cherkasy oblasts, there where there are no clear favourites. There are problems in those cities where there are powerful opposition leaders – Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Odessa, where popular and well-known leaders are countering the administrative resources of the authorities.
Will the elections end on Election Day or will the outcome be decided in the courts?
We have not yet had the sort of elections after which those who lost didn’t appeal against the result. I think there will be appeals,, they’ll be on a wide scale. The question is how well argued and provable these appeals will be, and also how objectively and without bias they’ll be examined by the courts. I would predict that in 10% , maybe more, cities and districts, the elections will be declared invalid. However overall in Ukraine, most results although they will be challenged, will end in accordance with the votes cast..