Politician claimant ordered to prove her rating
Natalia Korolevska’s party Ukraina Vpered is suing public opinion analysts whose study found that her party would not get into the Verkhovna Rada.
The next hearing into the suit against the Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology will take place in the Kyiv Economic Court on 23 November. By that time the respondents must receive the questionnaires from public opinion studies carried out by Korolevska’s party before the elections.
Interfax Ukraine reports that the claimant was not in court on Thursday, but she had previously demanded supplementary material from the respondents regarding their surveys. Her application states that the respondents did not provide the claimant with all proof confirming the accuracy of the public opinion survey.
The respondents’ lawyers said that the material sought did not pertain to the case and could not be provided since it contains personal data about those surveyed. This was accepted by the court.
The respondents then asked for Korolevska to provide questionnaires from the eve of the elections according to which the party’s rating exceeded the 5% barrier. They also asked the court to present material of a survey by a number of companies which the Ukraina Vpered party referred to in their suit. The court allowed the first request, but rejected the second.
Natalia Korolevska’s party in fact received 1.58% of the votes on 28 October, and yet she has not withdrawn her law suit which was described by public opinion analysts and media organizations as unprecedented. She claimed the results of a survey which predicted that her party would not get into parliament was “political technology”. She has also stated that she is for the introduction of criminal liability for fictitious sociology.
The two respondents have also warned on a number of occasions about highly questionable “public opinion” surveys and those who carry them out, however the two organizations are among the three or four generally seen as most authoritative in Ukraine.
As reported, the Sociological Institute issued a statement regarding the civil suit calling it unprecedented, and expressing regret at what it called an attempt to assess an academic study with the aid of the civil procedure code.
Leaving aside issues regarding whether such a law suit is democratic, and how it stands in relation to people’s right to information, they ask what court would take it upon itself to assess the scientific, methodological standards, procedure etc.
They express full support for their colleagues and stress the inadmissibility of any attempts to restrict freedom of academic thought.
Information about the hearing reported at http://news.liga.net/print/news/politics/763854-sud_potreboval_ot_korolevskoy_dokazatelstva_ee_reytinga.htm