CVU: Don’t deprive Ukrainians of their voting rights
The Luhansk Regional Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] has responded swiftly to media reports that on Monday former Russian Ombudsperson, Vladimir Lukin, the self-proclaimed “people’s governor” Valery Bolotov and MP Oleg Tsaryov stated that “the presidential elections in the Luhansk oblast, scheduled for May 25, will not take place”.
CVU points out that the right to take part in the elecitons is one of the fundamental political rights enshrined both in Ukraine’s Constitution, and in international legal documents. “Attempts to deprive residents of the Luhansk region, Ukrainian citizens, of the opportunity to vote at the early presidential elections on May 25, 2014 are illegal and criminal.
We would also point out to pro-Russian groups that the Ukrainian presidential elections are held not only in Ukraine, but in foreign election constitutencies. For example, at the 1999, 2004 and 2010 elections Ukrainian citizens living in the Russian Federation voted at foreign polling stations. At the coming elections Ukraine has created 6 polling stations on the territory of the Russian Federation, and nobody is planning to prohibit voting at those stations.”
The Luhansk Regional CVU writes that issues like language, federalization, and the status of local self-government must not be turned into pretexts for abuse of human rights and must not obstruct residents of the Luhansk region from taking part in the elections. Even if the pro-Russian separatists manage to get secession of the Luhansk region, or a part of it, even its inclusion within the Russian Federation, this is not a reason for preventing Ukrainian citizens living there from taking part in Ukraine’s presidential elections.
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