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Mutual statement by 96 international observers: These have been the worst elections held in Odesa since 2002
Nov 05 2010, 19:14
Delegation of 96 international observers from the Committee for Open Democracy, USA, have made a statement saying the elections held in Odesa on October 31, 2010, were the worst since 2002 — since the elections whose results were later.
The committee has published this statement today, 4 November.
“Committee for Open Democracy has sent the largest accredited mission of international observers to watch the local elections 31 October 2010. The delegation included 96 people from 14 countries, many of the observers had an immense experience of observing elections in Ukraine. Since the observation of local elections is different from the monitoring of national elections, the Committee made a decision to send most of the observers to Odesa, where the elections had been previously held on the competition basis. Our organization coordinated the efforts with other international organizations, monitoring the elections, as well as diplomatic missions. The Committee for Open Democracy observed 90% of an overall 347 polling stations before and on the election day.
The mission has made the following conclusions.
Firstly, the international observers could often feel hostile attitude of the members of the election commissions. We are sure, this was the result of the aggressive statements made by the Governor of Odesa Oblast Mr Eduard Matviychuk against the international observers a couple of days before the elections. As a result, the members of the election commissions often refused to answer regular questions and cooperate. The fact that some observers of our mission we denied access to several polling stations on the election day worried us. These actions completely disagree with the invitation President Viktor Yanukovich had sent to international observers monitoring the elections in Ukraine. This makes a great contrast to the international election observation norms.
Secondly, the count of the votes seems to have been intentionally delayed at the polling stations where the observers were present. This was done in order to exhaust the observers and make them leave before the protocols were issued. Moreover, the members of election commissions refused to provide the protocols as required by Ukrainian electoral legislation. This also directly contradicts the invitation made by President Yanukovich to international observers monitoring the elections in Ukraine.
Thirdly, a number of violations were discovered and documented on the election day, including, but not limited by that only, such as: the so called “carousels”; use of inofficial voters lists without stamps, mobile vote boxes without control coupons, presence of the members of election commissions in the election booths together with voters, overallocations of votes (up to 110% of the registered amount of voters) at some polling stations.
Fourthly, by means of so called “technical parties” the majority of the election commissions were under control of the ruling party. Most of these “technical prties” only exist on paper and have insufficient number of members to fill the positions in the staff of commissions. The examples of such parties are “Vidrodzhennya”, The Party of the Children of War, “Tovarishch” and the Youth Party. As a consequence, a lot of positions in the election commissions were occupied not by the members of the stated parties but by people connected to the ruling party. This gave the candidate of the ruling party more powers in making the decisions by the election commission. Taking this into account, the staff of election commissions was not democratic and did not meet the international electoral requirements.
Fifthly, the Territorial Election Commission in Odesa did not observe Ukrainian electoral legislation and did not arrange all the polling stations by October 15, as required. Due to the neglected attitude demonstrated while creating the polling stations, as well as changes made to the staffs of election commissions very soon before the elections, the competence and the motives of the Territorial Election Commission can be disputed. In addition, many of the polling stations were improperly prepared, many of the members of election commissions did not undergo special training and thus were not ready to do their tasks in compliance with the Law.
Sixthly, it looks as though, the overuse of administrative resource of Odesa Regional State Administration in order to make the voters support the candidate of the ruling party has influenced the free will of voters.
Unfortunately, taking into account the abovementioned facts, we can say these were the worst elections since 2002 — since the elections whose results were found false. It is regrettable, that the local authorities failed to observe democratic standards the President of Ukraine called to. We hope these problems will be paid proper attention to and legally resolved at court. We are grateful to Ukrainian government for letting us to monitor the elections in Ukraine, and for the great attention that we are sure will be paid to the stated issues and their investigation.
Mohamed, 07:00 / 15.08.2013
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Kadessa, 13:22 / 06.08.2013
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