Donetsk election commission work – conspiratorial and dangerous
Yevhen Nasadyuk writes for Radio Svoboda that only half of the polling stations in Donetsk may open on Election Day though nobody is prepared to give an exact figure since even those working towards the elections are doing so in secret. As reported here already many times, armed pro-Russian ‘separatists’ are using all means, including attacks on polling stations (and election commissions); hostage-taking and threats to frighten members of election commissions and voters. The police have received instructions to guard the election commissions.
Nasadyuk writes that members of the commissions are behaving like real underground conspirators. They use passwords to communicate and front as veteran organizations. They’re permanently waiting for trouble, and a fair number have refused to continue, fearing for their lives.
A spokesperson from one precinct election commission [PEC] said that all members have refused to continue, and they will be finding substitutes.
A spokesperson from the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] who is not named, unfortunately for obvious reasons, says that it is extremely important that people come to work on Election Day. It is crucial, he says, that people fulfil their duties as members of the PEC. The authorities must take the appropriate measures to ensure this.
For perhaps the first time since Ukraine gained independence, taking part in elections, and particularly being on an election commission, is a civic act of courage. Member of a district election commission, Pavlo L. says that his work is his civic position and his duty.
Despite pressure and intimidation there are a lot of people who openly express their position and say that they will come out for the elections whatever happens. Supporters of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic threaten them, say that they’ll blow up polling stations in schools.
Despite all of this the hope remains that the elections in the Donetsk oblast will take place. Those work teams who used their sirens to express support for a peaceful Donbass are now discussing how to defend the electoral process.