21.05.2000 | R. Romanov, Sebastopol

What is the cost of a vote?


Think, analyse, make conclusions from those crumbs of information that leak to you, do not become obedient robots. This is a quotation from the appeal to the people of Ukraine adopted on 6 July by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine. The pre-election race in Ukraine is coming to the finish. In contrast to sport competitions, the political competition is won not by the strongest sportsman, but by the number and loud voices of the fans. During the last weeks before the election day all the candidates to the presidency use all possible tricks to attract voters.

The operating President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma is supported by the government bodies in his campaign. So, Leonid Zhunko, the chairman of Sebastopol state administration, is at the same time one of the regional department of. Zlagoda., which is the union aimed at the support of Leonid Kuchma. As a member of Zlagoda., he openly and actively presses on the voters to make them elect Kuchma. I am the President. s man. , said Zhunko at the conference of Sebastopol city council. In all state offices, including law-enforcing agencies, the walls are pasted with portraits and promises of Kuchma.

While the state administration services Kuchma, another body of the self-rule, the elected city council, actively supports the communist candidate Piotr Simonenko.

Another candidate, Evhen Marchuk, sent million of letters to individual voters. Some people received not only letters. For example, pressmen of the newspaper . Real estate of Sebastopol. got several tins of sprat in a tomato sauce (the cheapest tinned fish available). The idea was supported by Piotr Simonenko. s fans: two old women, who came to his election headquarters, got ten tins of stewed meat each. The fans from Simonenko. s headquarters in Sebastopol refused to confirm the donation, but said that if they had money, they would cover Sebastopol voters with presents from the Ukrainian communists.

Leonid Kuchma also does not forget this traditional way of winning sympathy. Recently he presented to Sebastopol a trolleybus, while his wife Liudmila scatters television sets and freezers at schools, orphanages and hospitals. The candidates declared very modest incomes, such that they are hardly sufficient for feeding their own families. Nonetheless, they find money to give presents to their voters. What breath-taking happiness expects Ukrainian voters when one of them wins!

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