KIEV, October 24 (Itar-Tass) — Viktor Ratushnyak, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, said on Wednesday that the ministry had received no applications from political parties or public organizations to stage mass protest actions after the October 28 parliamentary elections. He refuted reports by the united opposition headquarters that the opposition had requested permission from the Kiev mayor’s office on October 9 to stage a mass protest on Sofiyskaya Square.
Ratushnyak said that police had initiated 75 criminal cases in connection with the election campaign. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry had received more than 3,700 reports on election violations, including illegal election campaigning (1,164); bribery of voters, robbery, threats of violence and infliction of bodily harm.
The Ukrainian president’s press service on Wednesday called on police and the Central Electoral Commission to assist journalists in covering parliamentary elections in Ukraine. In its address to the Central Electoral Commission and the law enforcers, the press service urged them to create all conditions for media representatives to cover the elections to Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) free and unhindered.
The presidential press service hopes that the law enforcers would be quick to react to journalists’ complaints about barriers put up to their professional activities.
The presidential press service’s address followed the incident in Brovary, a city in the Kiev region, where guards and local bureaucrats had beaten up journalists during an election trip of Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov, the chairman of the Party of Regions.
Prosecutors of the Kiev region have launched an inquiry into the incident.