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Re-run parliamentary elections to take place in five “problem constituencies” in Ukraine

December 15, 2013, 5:10 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, December 15, 3:40 /ITAR-TASS/. Re-run elections to Verkhovnaya Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) will be held in five “problem constituencies” in Ukraine on Sunday amidst a political crisis in Ukraine. They will take place on a day when the strongest wave of mass actions is expected in Kiev.

The re-run elections will be held in Obukhovka (the Kiev region); Pervomaisk (the Nikolayev region); Cherkassy and Kanev (the Cherkassy region) and also in one of Kiev’s constituencies. Last year, the Central Electoral Commission could not name the winners in those constituencies because of a huge number of violations during the vote and vote count.

Andrei Magera, the vice-chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, believes that the aggravation of the political situation in the country was unlikely to affect the re-run elections in the five above-mentioned constituencies.

“I believe that organizationally the elections will pass normally as usual if the headquarters of political parties do not come up with adventurous actions or anything else,” Magera said.

“Naturally, it is hard to rule out such things completely, but I would like to believe that nothing undesirable is going to happen. In fact, it’s not so important who is going to win. It is important that the choice is made by voters of the given constituency,” Magera explained.

However, members of the Mission Canada team of international observers say that non-transparent work of district election committees, the ungrounded rotation of their members and a huge number of “technical candidates” were the most serious problems linked to the re-run elections to parliament.

Earlier, the CIS-EMO international organization for election monitoring said that it considered it expedient to put off the re-run parliamentary elections because of the political situation in Ukraine, especially in Kiev.

Mikhail Okhendovskiy, the head of Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission, urged the political forces that are taking part in the mass protests not to campaign for their candidates on the elections day so that to prevent appeals against their results.

“I hope that the organizers of mass actions in Kiev will have enough sober sense to refrain from active campaigning on the day of voting by using the possibilities opened up by such mass actions,” Okhendovsky went on to say.

The opposition which wants to see parliament disbanded and is calling for new parliamentary elections has decided to take an active part in the re-run elections. The opposition parties “Batkivshchina” (Fatherland); “UDAR” (Punch) and “Svoboda” (Freedom) have nominated single candidates.

The Ukrainian opposition is convening another people’s assembly on Kiev’s Independence Square on Sunday. “We are urging and inviting all Kiev residents and all Ukrainians to arrive in Kiev on Sunday to attend our assembly due to be held at 12:00 local time (14:00 Moscow time) under the motto “A Day of Dignity,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the Batkivshchina parliamentary faction, said. He emphasized that the action was designed to protest against a possibility of signing an agreement on Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union by President Viktor Yanukovich. At the same time, thousands of people have gathered outside the parliamentary building in Mariinsky Park to voice their support for the ruling authorities. The action has been organized by the ruling Party of Regions.

On Saturday, the rally of “regions” adopted a resolution underlining the need to preserve peace and national unity. “We want to develop our country instead of building barricades. We are saying ‘no’ to chaos and we are saying ‘yes’ to order and stability! We are calling on all Ukrainian citizens to unite for the sake of preserving peace in Ukraine. We are calling on the opposition to lift the blockade of state and public institutions and sit down to talks. Accord and reconciliation is the only way of development for this country,” the resolution said.

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