Not Free Elections
The Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has been following preparations already underway for the October 28 parliamentary elections. Its observations lead it to conclude that some State institutions are using their administrative resources and public funding to try to influence voters in favour of particular candidates in single-mandate electoral districts.
An example of this, in CVU’s opinion, was the meeting on 30 May between Yulia Ioffe and the Mayors of Bryank, Kirovsk and Pervomaisk in the Luhansk Regional Administration. An agreement was signed during the meeting on building gas pipes to several inhabited areas within the make up of the above-mentioned cities. The gas pipes are to be financed by Naftohaz and will be finished and ready for use just before the elections, in October.
Other measures funded by the Ministry of Energy and Fuel to revive specifically those mining towns were also spoken of at the meeting..
It is surprising that news of these boons from the Ministry was brought to the Luhansk region by Yulia Ioffe, Head of the limited liability company DV Naftohaz Construction Firm and cannot therefore be an official from the Ministry of Energy and Fuel. She is, however, also the probable candidate of the 112th electoral district which includes Bryank, Kirovsk and a major part of Pervomaisk. It is the heads of those cities who were called to the meeting with Ms Ioffe and it is their cities which will benefit from the Ministry money.
CVU consider such actions by the Ministry of Energy and Fuel to be a form of bribery directed at entire cities and carried out using the administrative powers of a ministry and public funding.
Elections held in such circumstances make it questionable whether voters’ freedom to form their own opinion is being respect and infringe Article 6 of the Law on the Elections of National Deputies.
Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine