The winner of the presidential election race has not been declared officially as yet and the counting is still going on but the US President Barack Obama has already recognized Petro Poroshenko as the new leader of Ukraine no matter there are many doubts about the election results being trustworthy.
First of all the decision to launch the preterm election was taken by the Ukrainian parliament under the barrel of a gun. The members of parliament were literally made get inside the hall and vote. Those who opposed the procedure were beaten up, their family members threatened. In some cases electronic cards were taken away to ensure the needed result.
The presidential hopefuls could not conduct pre-election campaigns across the whole territory of Ukraine in violation of the basic principle which envisions the freedom of choice. Those who come from Western Ukraine could not meet the voters in the south or the east. Those who had any relation to the Party of Regions could not go west.
According to Ukrainian law, presidential candidates are entitled to have guards at the expense of government but the interim cabinet led by acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk refused to comply. It was used by the opponents to their advantage. Oleg Tsarev, an opposition candidate, was beaten up by Pravy Sector militants at the exit from ICTV studio in Kiev where he had taken part in pre-election debates. He tried to find refuge inside the General Prosecutor’s office but was denied protection by the state agency created to protect law and order. Constant threats and psychological pressure made Oleg Tsarev and Petro Symonenko, the leader of Communist Party who was also attacked by political opponents, leave the presidential race.
The right of equal access to media outlets was also violated; the opposition candidates were hindered from appealing to voters from TV screens. In a number of regions polling stations provided little information about opposition candidates while those who supported the regime had all the opportunities for self- promotion.
The very fact of holding election in the country flooded with militants waging large-scale war against civilians puts the election result in doubt. Kiev announced a cease-fire in the south-east the day before the election but that was exactly the time an Italian journalist and his Russian interpreter were killed near Slavyansk while his French colleague was wounded. The members of election commission were fusilladed by Neo-Nazi Pravy Sector militants loyal to the government in Novoaydar (the Lugansk region). Sometimes armed men simply prevented people from casting ballots.
At midday on May 25, LigaBusinessInform website reported 416 gross violations. There were 10 cases when someone tried to influence the election officials, 122 attempts to obstruct the election campaign, 16 cases of offering bribes to make voters cast ballots for the leading candidate, 183 violations of rules regulating pre-election agitation, 8 cases of exerting pressure on media. 3 manipulations with ballots, 3 attempts to damage a ballot-box. According to the press-center of Batkivshchyna Party led by Yulia Timoshenko, in the Vinnitsa region the number of ballots frequently exceeded many times the number of voters registered at this or that polling station.
Many pictures and videos shot by Ukrainian TV operators show that the transparent ballot – boxes were filled with ballots before the vote started. The observers and election commission members refused to register the violations.
The principle of the secret ballot is fundamental to democratic voting. For the vast majority of voters, no information about voting preferences that can be linked to an individual. Ballot papers are anonymous, and voters put the ballots in the appropriate ballot boxes themselves. According to deputy head of the Central Election Commission Zhanna Usenko-Chorna, 5 million empty ballots, or 20% of the total number, had been stolen. She said it was not a big problem because every ballot has an individual number and it was easy to see who voted for this or other candidate.
There was one more fact speaking in favor of mass rigging. The Central Election Commission delayed making public the information on turnout. The recent information release came out with great delay and was not final. All told, especially remembering the 20% ballots theft, the cases of multiple breaches call into question the trustworthiness of the election results.
And now the main argument putting the legitimacy of the President-elect into doubt. He received the support of less than 25% of Ukrainian voters. Who will he represent?