Mass withdrawal of supposed candidates
As of Friday the Central Election Commission had cancelled registration of 156 parliamentary candidates, this being almost 5% of the total. Almost all of them withdrew from the race themselves. In terms of the number of the withdrawals, the Dnipropetrovsk oblast is in the lead with over 50 candidates having withdrawn.
In one electoral district in Kryvy Rih, the number of candidates is now a third of what it was. Those remaining say that this is for the better, that the strongest will remain. However analysts note that some of the candidates are withdrawing because they have powerful rivals, some because they were technical candidates who have already served their purpose.
In No. 31 electoral district which includes two districts of Kryvy Rih and outlying villages, there were 16 candidates, there are now 5, with all the others having withdrawn themselves.
Radio Svoboda interviews one candidate – Tetyana Temchenko - who did not have representatives in the precinct electoral commission and says that she is withdrawing simply because family circumstances changed, that she is going away for a long time, that she doesn’t have the physical strength and health, especially since her chances of winning are small.
Radio Svoboda was not successful in interviewing others who withdrew their candidacy. Three work at the same enterprise and are apparently not at work at the moment. The others are private business owners or unemployed, and they are not well-known in the city.
The coordinator of the civic network OPORA in Kryvy Rih, Serhiy Fedko believes that these candidates were technical with their role being to enable their representatives to become members of precinct electoral commissions [PEC].
“After the draw their representatives did not get on the PEC, and they now have nothing to do. They weren’t planning victory in the elections or to campaign for themselves for any purpose. It’s clear that the people simply carried out a technical role. In Kryvy Rih in the No. 31 electoral district virtually nobody had heard of the people who withdrew.”.
Kostyantin Dykan from the Razumkov Centre says that the process of consolidation of the strongest candidates is now underway. Technical candidates are probably vanishing as they’ve already earned their money on the elections. He says that these technical candidates were not necessarily all put forward by others deliberately. Some saw this as an opportunity to engage in a new form of “business”. He says that to some extent this reflects a certain democratic character of the electoral legislation. If there was a higher amount of money needed to register as a candidate this would deter technical candidates, but also ordinary citizens, civic activists. He believes it possible that there were one or two who genuinely saw that the electoral fight was beyond them and gave up, but stresses that there were few such candidates.
From a report at Radio Svoboda