OPORA identifies most problematic districts and rates most serious infringements
Presenting their Seventh Monitoring Report on the elections, the civic network OPORA spoke of the use of administrative resources, black PR and vote-buying. As the campaign draws to a close, they report a surge of media and street campaigning and external advertising.
Dirty campaigning tactics have become more common in single-mandate electoral districts as the battle intensifies for each vote.
Other trends seen in previous months remain current, with the following specifically identified:
Wide-scale use of administrative resources;
Various forms of bribing voters;
Infringements of campaigning rules.
They point out that there was no adequate response to systematic abuses either from the law enforcement bodies or the Central Election Commission
In October OPORA observers found 159 cases of use of administrative resources in 21 oblasts (out of 27), with the most in the Kharkiv; Kherson; Donetsk; Kyiv; Odessa and Luhansk oblasts.
Slightly behind in terms of numbers were infringements of campaigning rules with 146 incidents recorded in 24 oblasts. The most here were in the Chernivtsi and Kharkiv oblasts and in Kyiv.
There were 124 cases of voter bribing recorded in 21 oblasts, with the most seen in the Odessa, Kherson and Ternopil oblasts.
112 recorded cases of parties and candidates being obstructed in 19 oblasts with the most in the Odessa and Sumy oblasts.
There were 6 cases of enforcement bodies being used as a method of exerting influence on the election process and 6 of pressure on the media.
Olha Aivazovska, Head of OPORA Election Programme, informed that OPORA will be ensuring that the most problematic areas, as identified by long-term monitoring, would have observers at all electoral precincts.
She said that OPORA has also used the criterion of regional diversity in order to take into consideration the specific features of the campaign in the East, West, South, North and Centre of Ukraine. She stressed also the vital role which observers play in ensuring that the votes are counted fairly.
The following districts have been selected for 100% coverage:
95 (centre in Irpin, Kyiv oblast); 214 (Kyiv); 105 (centre in Zhovtnevy District in Luhansk); 153 (centre Rivne); 73 (centre: Vynohradiv, Transcarpathian oblast); 186 (Samarsk District); 157 (centre Sumy); 17 (centre – Ladyzhyn, Vinnytsa oblast); 52 (centre – Dzherzhynsk, Donetsk oblast).