Marek Siwiec MEP on Poland & Europe

I thought I knew all the election tricks, but Ukraine surprised me once again. A week ago I sent observers to Dnipropetrovsk to see how the campaign is running in the city which I am going to visit during the vote on October 28th.

We know that half of the seats will be chosen in a proportional election. Here we can observe a clash between the national lists with a top-down hierarchy – the parties’ leaders at the forefront. The real battle, however, takes place in the single-mandate constituencies and here the human creativity has no limits. The hit of the election are so-called “technical candidates”.

And who are they?

In addition to the strong candidates recommended by political parties, almost anyone can appear at the electoral list. Often in one constituency, where several thousand people vote, there are over 20 candidates. It is easy to guess that most of them are exposed only to pick up opponents’ votes. One attempt of buying a “technical candidate” has been recorded – a candidate of the Party of Regions, Deputy Mayor of Dnipropetrovsk, offered a start in the election to an independent union’s leader in order to pick up his rival’s votes. Sometimes at the list occur two people with the same names. Every country has its own customs, but there are suspicions that this procedure involves money.

My envoys reported that courts generally deny any claim against the candidates who are in power. For example, a local TV repeatedly refuses to show political spots of one of the candidates. A claim submitted in this matter to the court has been denied. The same happened with a complaint against covering and putting billboards right on top of opponent’s posters. But the real surprise is that the same lawyer represents the district election commission and a candidate of the Party of Regions…

All this creates a rather unpleasant picture of the ongoing campaign. On October 11th, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss this matter.

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  1. Dear friends,
    To better understand social and political situation is excellent go back to the past and analyze the past and present, so we can advance our knowledge of the history of a people
    Read this a little old article of BBC
    Ukraine’s presidential election is set for a second round run-off after partial results showed no candidate would win more than 50% of the vote.
    With half the votes counted, former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych led current PM Yulia Tymoshenko by 37% to 24%.
    The two were on opposing sides of the Orange Revolution in 2004-5, but both now favour closer ties with Russia.
    Current President Viktor Yushchenko has been eliminated from the vote.

    ANALYSIS
    Gabriel Gatehouse, BBC News, Kiev
    Unless the exit polls are very wide of the mark, Viktor Yanukovych will face the Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, in a second round run-off on 7 February.
    She was instrumental in bringing the current President, Viktor Yushchenko to power during the Orange Revolution five years ago. But the pair soon fell out, and she is now portraying herself as the heir of the Orange mantle.
    Five years ago Viktor Yanukovych was the villain, tainted by allegations of vote-rigging and open support from Moscow.
    Now, both candidates say they favour closer ties with Russia – after five years of increasingly tense relations under President Yushchenko – and the Kremlin seems happy with either.
    A total of 18 candidates took part in the election.
    The BBC’s Gabriel Gatehouse, in Kiev, says there is much disillusionment among voters over the failure to tackle corruption and links with the EU.
    It was Mr Yanukovych’s victory in the 2004 election that was annulled by the Orange Revolution and brought Mr Yushchenko and Ms Tymoshenko to power.
    Turnout in the election was reported to be less than 50% by early afternoon. Polls closed at 2000 (1800 GMT).
    In the capital Kiev, voters walked to polling stations through light snow.
    In the eastern city of Donetsk, one polling station encouraged voters with vodka and sausage.
    President Yushchenko cast his ballot at a polling station in central Kiev with his wife, Kateryna, and their five children.
    “Ukraine once again will demonstrate that it is a European democratic country, that it is a free nation, free people and free election,” he said.
    Warnings of unrest
    The leading candidates have accused each other of trying to rig the election, and there have been warnings of unrest after the vote.

    In an effort to boost confidence in the election, foreign observers have spread out across Ukraine to monitor voting.
    Jens-Hagen Eschenbacher, of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, said about 600 OSCE election monitors are in place, as well as thousands of other foreign observers.
    The Orange Revolution led Ukrainians to expect sweeping changes – integration with Europe and an end to corruption, our correspondent says.
    But the reality has not lived up to expectations and there is widespread disillusionment with politicians across the spectrum, he
    Have a nice day
    Anna

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