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22.05.2000 | A.Svetikov, Severodonetsk

The Svatovo syndrome

   

The first round of the election in Svatovo district of the Lugansk oblast finished by the defeat of Kuchma. Out of 28596 only 7031 voted for him while 16285 voted for Simonenko. For other leftish candidates voted 3000 more.

The unprecedented pressure on the voters followed. The head of the district administration, Mr. Prosin, declared that he would retire. Nonetheless, no official steps followed, he continued to occupy his office and moved around in his service car. It was to his office that heads of industrial and agricultural firms were summoned and given concrete tasks. The latter heads summoned smaller heads and stated the tasks. At the end of this pyramid the small fry promised to vote for the President. One of the workers of agricultural technical service tried to hide the form which made him to keep this promise, but he was caught and brought to the local militia precinct. The people’s deputy Donchenko had to interfere to liberate the fighter for justice from the accusation of hooliganism.

In Nizhniaya Duvanka the head of local agricultural firm warned a woman that she would be sacked in no time if she did not vote for Kuchma. He demanded her to vote not in the special cabin, but in the controllable place.

14 November, on the day of the second voting all the little bosses came to the voting stations to control the process. The result was successful: about 12 thousand voters supported Kuchma. The complete change of electors’ sympathies during two weeks! Does such election confirm democratic transformations in Ukraine?

One more aspect of the situation. While preparing to the election our organization cooperated with the OSCE mission in the Lugansk oblast. We passed them all the information about commissions in the oblast and about voting districts. On 14 November I wanted to share some information with the OSCE together with the list of people prepared to write down the applications on the violations of the electing procedure. Alas, from 12:00 to 21:00 hours it appeared impossible to contact the OSCE mission. It seemed that any critical information was not needed by the OSCE. Their mission seems to be to witness the correct democratic procedure in the election.

Your efforts appeared to be successful, ladies and gentlemen.

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