CVU reports Luhansk police interference in electoral process


  A parliamentary candidate has been prevented from attending a meeting of voters because the police threatened to detain him for holding an unauthorized gathering.

Not for the first time over the last month, the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has reported behaviour by the Luhansk police which suggest that they are being used in favour of certain candidates.

It reports that more than a thousand residents of Severodonetsk gathered at 5 p.m. on 3 October outside a block of apartments for a meeting with parliamentary candidate for No. 106 single-mandate electoral district, Yury Furman. The candidate did not turn up, because the management of the Severodonetsk Police had threatened that he would be detained for organizing an unauthorized rally. Instead of attending the rally, Furman went off to sort out the situation at the Luhansk Regional Prosecutor’s Office.

CVU notes that the Luhansk District Administrative Court has already issued a ruling which has entered into force stating that meetings between parliamentary candidates and voters do not need to be agreed in advance with the authorities. Yet the head of the Severodonetsk Police told Mr Furman that the judge in issuing that ruling had been wrong and that the police would not be guided by it.

Several administrative protocols drawn up by police officers with respect to Yury Furman over meetings with Severodonetsk voters back in August are still, in October, awaiting examination in a Severodonetsk court. 

A CVU observer was present at the meeting with Yury Furman and did not notice any instances where money was handed over. However among those gathered were a fair number of people with printed out lists on which those present were being ticked off. 

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