Fight for power

CEC intends to declare elections valid in all constituencies

CEC intends to declare elections valid in all constituencies
The CEC believes the results of the parliamentary elections reflect voters’ moods all throughout the country
Photo: Ivan Chernichkin

The Central Election Commission (CEC) does not intend to repeat the experience of the elections to the parliament in 2012, when it was unable to determine the results of elections in several troubled districts. This time the CEC intends to provide the names of all new MPs, who won in first-past-the-post constituencies, regardless of the scandals and lawsuits filed by the candidates that lost.

Putting one’s foot down

Yesterday, representatives of five district election commissions in the Luhansk oblast appealed to the CEC to declare the elections in the region invalid. They claim it is impossible to determine the results of the elections throughout the region because of the pressure on the commissions and wide-scale violations of the electoral process. At the same time, head of the CEC in the Luhansk oblast Oleksandr Chupakhin says he received no official complaints from the regional district election commissions and all were operating in the standard regime. Chupakhin acknowledges that there is a delay in submitting of data from the district commissions to the CEC, but explains this saying that many election commissions in the Luhansk oblast changed their composition on the last day before the elections.

“Owing to lack of experience the new members of commissions make mistakes when filling out the forms or counting ballots. For this reason, protocols are returned for clarification and many technical errors are made, meaning that the results are not entered into the Vybory system. We will catch up quite soon,” he assured.

Deputy Chair of the CEC Andriy Mahera says it is premature to talk about troubled districts in which the results of the elections could be canceled. “Today, there is no reason to say that the results of elections will be cancelled in certain regions. We are expecting lawsuits. This is a traditional reality of Ukrainian election campaigns; I would not rule out that they have already been prepared at the district level,” said Mahera. He added that the CEC intended to announce the election results on time – by November 10.

Coordinator of the OPORA Civil Network Olha Aivazovska explained that under the law the CEC had the right to cancel the results of the elections only at certain voting stations, but not in a whole constituency. For that the total number of ballots in the ballot boxes should be 10% higher than the number of voters or more than 20% of voting ballots should be destroyed. She says that even if the all members of DECs disappear, their duties will be performed by the CEC.

“There already have been such cases in the Donetsk oblast, where the results have been cancelled at the voting station, but this does not apply to the entire constituency. In 2012 the CEC found atypical solutions for troubled districts. I believe it will not go to this length once again,” says Aivazovska.

Noteworthy is that during the parliamentary elections in 2012 the results of voting in five districts could not be established. After almost a year re-elections were held in those regions.

Regional idiosyncrasies

As of Monday evening the lowest number of protocols was processed in the Donbas region. Certain problems also arose in the Donetsk oblast. The CEC representative in Donetsk Oleksandr Shelestov explains that the commission is forced to submit many protocols for clarification, though this process should not affect the election results. He says the CEC received the first protocol from the region with a “wet stamp” with the results of the elections in Constituency No. 45, where Yefym Zvyahilskiy won. Noteworthy is that in order to win Zvyahilskiy needed the support of 1,454 voters, which accounted for 72.7% of the total number of those who voted.

Besides the Donbas, there are hot spots in other regions. For example, in the Odesa oblast a dispute flared up in the constituency where the candidate of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Davyd Zhvania was leading the vote count. The entire composite of the district election commission disappeared, which led to a 12-hour delay in the acceptance of ballots from voting stations. As of yesterday independent candidate Vasyl Hulyayev was the leader in the constituency.

In the Volyn oblast one of the commanders of the Aidar battalion Ihor Lapin won the elections defeating former Deputy CEO of Ihor Palytsya’s Charity Foundation – New Lutsk Iryna Konstankevych with a difference of 28 votes. The head of the local branch of the Voters’ Committee Yuriy Kresak said the documents were submitted with a delay to the district election commission and that it will take a long time for five electoral commissions to draw up the necessary protocols. He said this incited the indignation of voters and local self-defense units lit tires afire in front of the building of the district election commission. He predicts that the confrontation between candidates will be intense, but short.

A source of Capital in the Presidential Administration said a number of candidates want to justify their losses and have a second chance to be elected to the parliament appealing to the CEC to not declare the elections successful in a number of districts. The source says the PA will support the CEC’s decision to deem the elections valid in all districts.

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