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Ukraine needs USD 200 mln for presidential elections

February 27, 2014, 23:18 UTC+3 KIEV

The presidential election campaign started in Ukraine on February 25

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© Itar-Tass

KIEV, February 27, (ITAR-TASS). Ukraine needs 200 million U.S. dollars (over 1.9 billion hryvnia) for presidential elections slated for May 25, Central Election Commission Chairman Mikhail Okhendovsky said on Thursday, February 27.

“According to the calculations made by the Central Election Commission, 1.965 billion [hryvnia] need to be disbursed for the elections. However, given the current state of the budget, the commission will seek to reduce election expenditures as much as may be practicably possible,” he said.

Okhendovsky said “these expenditures include a possible runoff election.”

He said that the decision on the registration of candidates would be made within five days after the submission of the required documents to the Commission, Okhendovsky said. A candidate will have to make a deposit of about 280,000 U.S. dollars.

When asked whether UDAR (Punch) Party leader Vitali Klitschko and former Prime Minister and Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko would run in the elections, Okhendovsky said, “We cannot make the decision before a potential candidates submits his documents to the CEC.”

It is not known who exactly will compete for the presidency in the upcoming elections, but former Prime Minister and Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party leader Yulia Timoshenko said she would not.

“Someone has circulated a statement alleging that Yulia Vladimirovna [Timoshenko] said she would run for presidency. This is not true. No such statement was made,” mass media quoted her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko as saying.

On Sunday, February 23, Timoshenko requested that her candidature be not considered for the post of prime minister.

On February 22, the parliament adopted a resolution stating that President Viktor Yanukovich had given up his constitutional duties and appointing early presidential elections for May 25, 2014.

On February 24, the Ukrainian parliament authorised the disbursement of 1.96 billion hryvnia (218 million U.S. dollars) for the early presidential elections. The decision was passed by 352 votes with the required 226 votes.

Yevgeny Geller, chair of the budget committee, said the funding would be secured by redistributing other expenditures.

The presidential election campaign started in Ukraine on February 25.

“The election campaign starts automatically based on the resolution of the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] on the appointment of early elections of the president of Ukraine on May 25,” the Commission said.

Parliament Speaker and acting President Alexander Turchinov also called for holding early parliamentary elections in the country.

“After the presidential election [on May 25] we should begin parliamentary elections in order to renovate all branches of government,” he said.

Turchinov said he would resign after the situation in the country had normalised.

“As soon as we normalise the situation and restore power within a month, I will resign as a person who has done his job,” he said.

Turchinov believes that the interim government to be formed in Ukraine will “burn out” because of the unpopular decisions it will have to make.

“The new government will have to make unpopular decisions and I do not rule out that it will ‘burn out’ in several months,” he said, adding that the interim government would need “several months to normalise the situation in the country.

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