First physical run-in during election campaign
The Luhansk Regional Committee of Voters of Ukraine reports that on Tuesday 28 August the first physical confrontation was recorded between two candidates in the No. 106 single-mandate electoral district – Oleksy Kunchenko and Oleksandr Furman.
CVU says that the information it has received is fairly contradictory.
Sources in the Party of the Regions claim that during an address to Severodonetsk voters by Serhiy Shakhov and Oleksandr Furman, 41 of Shakhov’s strongmen supposedly attacked a group of Severodonetsk residents and brutally beat them up. There were reports of trampled loudspeakers and broken ribs.
One witness asserted that one of Oleksy Kunchenko’s campaigner tried to get to a microphone during Serhiy Shakhov’s address but that Shakov’s guards twisted his arms behind his back. The same source did not know what happened next.
The Severodonetsk police willingly confirmed to journalists from the Third Sector newspaper that a conflict had arisen, but categorically refused to provide any details.
CVU monitors’ own sources say that groups of young campaigners for Kunchenko will be present at meetings of other candidates with voters and will engage in counter-campaigning. This method was used in Severodonetsk back in 2002 when supporters of the then Mayor Volodymyr Hrytsyshyn used it to obstruct the campaigning of his main rival.
CUV observers consider that the Severodonetsk police are not checking the circumstances linked with obstruction of other parliamentary candidates’ campaigning. One can therefore expect that soon all efforts by opponents of Oleksy Kunchenko to meet with voters will end in punch-ups or at least with a scandal.