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20 Apr, 2019 22:39

Ukraine election eve: Dozens of bomb scares & attempt to disqualify frontrunner

Ukraine election eve: Dozens of bomb scares & attempt to disqualify frontrunner

On the eve of Ukraine’s presidential runoff, authorities have been overwhelmed by dozens of bomb threats, just as a court in Kiev was forced to hear a last-ditch lawsuit demanding that the frontrunner’s registration be annulled.

The second round of the Ukrainian election takes place on Sunday, with Volodymyr Zelensky having an overwhelming advantage over incumbent president Petro Poroshenko, according to the latest polls. But a lawyer and election observer, Andrii Khilko, has claimed that the leading candidate’s invitation of his supporters to a final debate between the contenders somehow amounted to bribery of the electorate.

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Forced to convene overnight, an appeals court in Kiev has dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that Zelensky’s reminder to supporters that they needed tickets to attend the event could in no way be considered as bribery or illegal election campaigning.

In the meantime, police in Kiev received numerous calls about explosive devices allegedly planted in at least 18 malls all across the capital on Saturday night. Earlier in the day, authorities had to sweep Kiev’s central railway station following a similar bomb threat, which turned out to be fake.

In Odessa, bomb squads had to evacuate hundreds of patients from two hospitals, as well as check an airport, a mall and a movie theater following nearly a dozen tip offs – but also gave the all-clear, after finding nothing suspicious.

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