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Dnepropetrovsk replaces election commission head at night ahead of elections

November 15, 2015, 9:39 UTC+3 KIEV
"The territorial commission’s head, Valentina Pankulich, and secretary Yulia Ilyina systematically failed to fulfill their duties," the territorial commission’s member wrote in their appeal
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Elections in Ukraine

Elections in Ukraine

© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov, archive

KIEV, November 15 /TASS/. Members of the Dnepropetrovsk city territorial election commission asked Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission to replace the territorial commission’s head and secretary on the night ahead of the second round of mayoral elections, the UNN news agency reported.

"The territorial commission’s head, Valentina Pankulich, and secretary Yulia Ilyina systematically failed to fulfill their duties," the territorial commission’s member wrote in their appeal.

Previous reports said that Pankulich used to miss the commission’s sessions. She also ignored the deputies request to show them the commission’s stamp.

One of the international monitors at the Dnepropetrovsk city electoral commission has warned about possible election fraud or total disruption of elections in Dnepropetrovsk on November 15.

Alexander Vilkul, the Opposition Bloc’s candidate at Verkhovna Rada (parliament) won the first round of mayoral elections in Dnepropetrovsk on October 25.

The Ukrainian authorities will use the second round of municipal elections in Ukraine this Sunday to overcome a split in Ukrainian society. Voters in 29 Ukrainian cities are going to elect their mayors whom they did not elect in the first round on October 25. The pro-presidential forces won the elections only in three major Ukrainian cities in the first round three weeks ago.

The fiercest battle for the votes is expected in Kiev where its incumbent mayor boxer Klichko from the pro-government Pyotr Poroshenko Solidarity bloc will run against his rival Borislav Beryoza, a former member of the Right Sector extremist organization who currently represents the Party of Decisive Citizens.

Dnepropetrovsk is expected to become an arena of fierce election clashes between the Opposition Bloc’s candidate, Alexander Vilkul (a vice-premier under President Viktor Yanukovich), and Boris Filatov from the UKROP oligarchic party sponsored by Igor Kolomoisky, a billionaire in disgrace.

Conflicts in the runoff elections are likely to take place in Pavlodar where Opposition Bloc’s candidate Anatoly Vershina will run against a former fighter of a paramilitary battalion, which took part in the punitive operation in Ukraine’s Donbas region and which was not subordinate to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.

Self-nominated candidate Vladimir Buryak (Zaporozhstal plant), a representative of another Ukrainian oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, and Nikolai Frolov, a candidate of the pro-presidential Pyotr Poroshenko Solidarity bloc, will run for the mayor of Zaporozhye. Akhmetov has to infiltrate his people in the power bodies in order to gain control over the city where the main assets of the SKM group are still located.

"Protest voting is playing the key role in Ukraine. People are voting ‘against’ more than they are ‘voting’ for," Ukrainian political scientist Alexander Neberikut said commenting on this Sunday’s vote.

According to Zoryan Shkiryak, Ukraine’s Interior Minister’s aide, 31,600 law enforcers and 5,800 public activists will guard law and order during the second round of elections. Their reaction to any offences and provocations will be tough and decisive.

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