Fighting stops vote count in Donetsk oblast
Observers from OPORA and the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] reported in the early hours of Oct 27 that artillery fire near District Election Commission No. 60 in Volnovakha [Donetsk oblast] had forced members of the commission to suspend work.
This was the first report of shelling since voting began on Sunday, however the conflict took its toll on the elections in the Donetsk oblast with only around 42% able to vote in the parliamentary elections. The others are on territory under the control of Kremlin-backed militants. Radio Svoboda reports that four Donetsk oblast residents who tried to vote at the school which had housed their polling station during previous elections were even shot at by the militants.
There were far less reports of intimidation, however, than before and during the presidential elections on May 25. Then the militants went all out to disrupt the elections, attacking election commissions, sometimes abducting their heads.
There were also a number of reports from CVU and OPORA of reasonably overt attempts to rig the elections.
CVU reports, for example, that members of a precinct election commission (No. 140089; district No. 59) had earlier refused to count the ballot papers in the presence of observers. They later opened the boxes and began the count however in full view of an observer, one of the PEC members put ballot papers into the box while it was being opened.
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