Low voter turnout may indicate fraud
The victory in the elections for the mayor of Kharkiv, Igor Terekhov, was not so unconditional. Photo: collage “Today”
At the elections of the mayor of Kharkiv in first round won candidate from the party “Kernes Bloc – Successful Kharkiv!” Igor Terekhov… However, a number of public organizations and the main competitor of the winner Mikhail Dobkin announced falsifications and violationsdemanding to cancel the election results. The site “Segodnya” found out what the elected mayor is accused of and whether there will be re-elections in Kharkiv.
Falsification of protocols
The OPORA civil network was the first to appeal to the Kharkiv City Territorial Election Commission (TEC) with complaints of violations and a request to cancel the election results. This was reported by coordinator of the organization in the Kharkiv region Nikolay Zinchenko on your Facebook page.
According to him, observers discovered falsification of the protocols on the counting of votes at 10 polling stations in the Novobavarsky and Osnovyansky districts of the city. As a result of falsification, the number of votes for candidates Konstantin Nemichev and Alexander Skorik decreased by 160 and 237, respectively, and for Terekhov increased by 397 votes.
Also, the organization’s observers identified a number of violations, including:
- issuing ballots without a passport;
- use of administrative resources;
- bribery of voters;
- control over the expression of the will of citizens;
- attempts to obstruct the access of observers to the preparatory sessions of the TECs and to control the counting of votes;
- campaigning on election day;
- non-compliance with the legal procedure for counting votes.
In total, OPORA observers identified and verified 311 violations.
Nikolay Zinchenko: “Observers discovered falsification of protocols” / Photo: Facebook
Zoo tickets, iPhone and cheap buckwheat
The public movement “CHESTNO” also revealed violations in the elections of the mayor of Kharkov. The activists of the organization noticed that the staff of Terekhov’s headquarters encouraged young voters with tickets to the Zoo and promised to donate iPhones. Fairs with cheap buckwheat were organized for the older audience.
“Such mobilization of turnout occurs when the headquarters has information that the voter who is needed to overcome the 50% barrier has not appeared.”, – noted in “HONESTLY”.
Fairs with cheap buckwheat were organized for the older audience. Photo: chesno.org
Procrastination of the counting of votes
The organization also said that there was a low voter turnout at the elections, but the vote count was deliberately delayed in order to “drain the commission members.”
“When TEC members are marinated for several days, they become less attentive and more compromising.”, – explained in the organization.
Dobkin goes to court
Falsifications were declared and Terekhov’s main competitor in the elections is the ex-head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration, the former People’s Deputy of Ukraine (“Opposition Bloc”) Mikhail Dobkin.
“I am going to court. We, all Kharkiv citizens, under Terekhov, have been brazenly stolen for the second time the right to elect the mayor of the city, whom we ourselves want. And here it is already a matter of principle.”, – wrote Dobkin on his Instagram.
According to Dobkin, lawyers of his party “Our Home – Kharkiv” are studying the situation in order to challenge the illegal actions of opponents, which may indicate the work of the “grid” to bribe voters in favor of a candidate from the government.
Mikhail Dobkin: “I’m going to court! It’s a matter of principle” / Photo: Facebook
What they say at Terekhov’s headquarters
In turn, representative of the headquarters of Igor Terekhov, head of the city organization “Kernes Block – Successful Kharkov!” Victoria Kitaygorodskaya stated that there were no gross violations on election day, and OPORA observers were not present at the polling stations.
“It is surprising how OPORA received copies of the protocols, since their representatives were not present at the polling stations. The registration logs testify to this.”, – she said.
Kitaigorodskaya also explained the too long process of counting votes – by the demand of Terekhov’s competitors, and she called all accusations of falsification a provocation.
Viktoria Kitaygorodskaya: “Accusations of falsification are a provocation” / Photo: Facebook
Terekhov himself refrained from commenting.
“Thank you! Kharkov!” – he wrote on his Facebook page.
Low turnout may indicate fraud
Political scientist Yanina Sokolovskaya notes that the main reason for the falsifications in the elections of the mayor of Kharkiv may be evidenced by the low voter turnout.
“Before the elections, the data of opinion polls showed that about 50% of Kharkiv residents were allegedly ready to vote for Terekhov. But such figures were announced from the predicted turnout of voters – more than 90%. About 30% came to the elections, and as a result Terekhov received even more votes than expected . I think there could be falsifications and the use of administrative resources, “the expert says to Segodnya.
Yanina Sokolovskaya: “Low voter turnout may indicate the main reason for the falsifications” / Photo: Facebook
Too big a gap
In the same time political scientist Igor Petrenko notes that low voter turnout is typical for local elections.
“In the elections of mayors, the turnout is always lower than in the elections of people’s deputies or the president. In addition, many did not go to the elections because of the coronavirus,” Petrenko tells us.
He also notes that, if there were any violations at the elections, they did not greatly affect the result of the vote.
“Exitpoles showed that Terekhov was in the lead. Perhaps, without violations, he would have received a lower percentage of support, but hardly critical. Terekhov’s gap from competitors was too large,” says Petrenko.
Igor Petrenko: “Without violations, Terekhov would have received a lower percentage of support, but hardly critical” / Photo: Facebook
Will there be re-elections
Lawyer Ivan Lieberman believes that it is necessary to check how significant the violations were and whether they influenced the outcome of the elections.
“The law enforcement agencies and the court received a large number of statements and complaints about violations. Coercion to vote, violation of electoral rights, falsification of vote counting, bribery of voters and much more. A large concentration of such statements suggests that violations could affect the election result.” – says “Today” Lieberman.
The lawyer also added that if the facts of abuse of power are confirmed, this will negatively affect the image of Kharkiv and Ukraine in general.
“If the elections are recognized as illegitimate, this will cause negative feelings among our Western partners. Therefore, to show everyone that Ukraine is a democratic country,” Lieberman summed up.
Ivan Lieberman: “Re-election of the mayor should take place in Kharkov” / Photo: Facebook
How were the elections
Source From: Segodnya
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