ODESSA, May 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The findings of exit polls following the Odessa mayoral elections have not revealed a winner and give preference to two main candidates, Gennady Trukhanov and Eduard Gurvits.
At first, exit polls taken jointly by the "Savik Shuster Studio" and the Odessa regional organization "Committee of Ukraine's Electorate" (KIU) named Gurvits as a winner with 42.6% of the vote and Trukhanov was ostensibly second with 36%.
However, the issued findings of another poll taken by the Committee for the Protection of Citizens, showed, on the contrary, that Trukhanov polled 45% of the vote and Gurvits 35%.
Without waiting for official results of the elections, the headquarters of the candidates already proclaimed their respective candidates as winners and accused each other of mass falsifications and other violations. According to KIU chief Anatoly Boiko, "The number of voters in the lists for mayoral elections turned out to be greater than that at presidential polls, with the lists mentioning children, foreigners, and even dead souls".
Hanne Severinsen, head of the International Observer Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, at the Odessa mayoral elections, expressed concern over the fact that observers did not pay due attention to the ballot-boxes and did not check what precisely voters were putting into them. "This creates an opportunity for various violations, primarily for the so-called carousels when a person puts into a ballot-box his or her ballot-paper that is different from the one he or she received at the polling station," she said.