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Violations registered at Ukraine presidential election in Odessa

May 25, 2014, 15:26 UTC+3 ODESSA
Unidentified persons had thrown a Molotov cocktail at one of the city’s polling stations
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Dzhavakhadze

ODESSA, May 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Violations have been registered at polling stations in the eastern Ukrainian city of Odessa, which is holding local mayoral elections along with Ukraine’s presidential poll on Sunday.

Leader of the local branch of Ukraine’s UDAR Party Andrei Yusov, who also heads the election campaign of Odessa mayoral candidate Eduard Gurvits, said that unidentified people had thrown a Molotov cocktail at one of the city’s polling stations.

Chairperson of the regional branch of the Ukraine Electors Committee Anatoly Boiko said that three polling stations had opened with a delay. It later turned out that the names of electors from some of the city’s areas had disappeared from electoral lists.

Voting in the center of Odessa started “under the flag” of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic hoisted over the Tyoshchin Bridge in front of an entry to the sea port. Law-enforcers have so far failed to remove the flag owing to the bridge’s height.

Before the voting, many Odessa residents brought flowers to the Trade Unions House that was set on fire on May 2 by gunmen of the radical Right Sector movement sent from Kiev and representatives of the so-called Maidan self-defense. At least 48 people died and over 200 suffered injuries in the fire and riots in the city.

Some Ukrainian politicians had said the Kiev authorities were understating the number of victims and the death toll could stand at 116.

Active voting was registered at some of the city’s polling stations. Some electors interviewed by journalists said they would only vote to elect a new mayor and would ignore the Ukraine presidential election.

The early presidential elections were scheduled for May 25 after the February coup in Ukraine, which forced President Viktor Yanukovych to leave the country. The elections are taking place amid Kiev’s continued punitive operation in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which declared their independence from Ukraine at the local May 11 referendums.

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