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OPORA, the independent electoral monitoring body in Ukraine, has released the preliminary observations of the local elections, held on the 25th October. In keeping with the run-up to the election, numerous violations were recorded at the polling booths in Odesa, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk. These included violating voting secrecy, issuing ballot papers without identification, attempts to stuff ballot boxes, and taking pictures of ballots. You can read the report in full below.


According to the preliminary findings of the OPORA, local elections were held with numerous violations of the electoral process organization procedure and international standards including: instable electoral legislation and vague procedures, violation of equal opportunities principle and the principle of balanced proportion of mandates, low level of ballot papers security and violations which may be specified and voter bribery. Violations on 25 October were usually unsystematic and didn’t have significant influence on election results or vote count process, and the campaign itself was quite competitive. OPORA calls on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to secure voting rights of Mariupol and Krasnoarmiisk citizens, where elections were disrupted on 25 October, and to amend the legislation to secure proper conditions for citizen participation in local self-government of these cities. OPORA calls on state authorities at all levels to restrain from using this disruption as grounds for restriction of local self-government. The voter turnout in Ukraine was 46.5% as of 8 p.m., what is only 2.2% less than turnout in 2010 local elections. Olha AIVAZOVSKA, Electoral and Parliamentary Programs Coordinator at the Civil Network OPORA told about the most typical violations that occurred on the election day: “OPORA’s observers detected minor violations at 24.1% polling stations in Ukraine (margin of error – 2.3%), and significant violations at 2.3% polling stations (margin of error – 1,4%). The most typical violations were: attempts to issue (receive) ballots without previous passport verificationviolation of the voting secrecy – incidents were detenced at 17.7% of polling stations in Ukraine; violation of the voting secrecy – at 7.5% polling stations in Ukraine; incidents when voters took pictures of their ballots were detected only at 1.9% polling stations in Ukraine. However, the percentage of such violation at polling stations of Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk is much higher – 13.5% and 11.9% polling stations respectively.” However, ballot-box stuffing was detected at 1.5% polling stations in Ukraine.




As for voter turnout at elections, Analyst at the Civil Network OPORA Oleksandr Neberykut has stated: “The voter turnout in these elections is a little bit smaller (46.5%) than it was in 2010 local elections (48.7%). The difference, however, is only 2.2%. It should be mentioned that voter turnout was much higher every time elections to local self-government bodies coincided with parliamentary elections (75.6%in 1994, 70.8%in 1998, 69.3%in 2002, and 67.6%in 2006). As for the certain cities covered by OPORA’s parallel vote tabulation, Odesa has 37.9% turnout, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk – 43,5%. To compare, Odesa had 45% voter turnout in 2010 local elections, Kharkiv – 39.9%, Dnipropetrovsk – 40.8%.”






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