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27 Sep, 2007 14:17

Last days to gain votes in Ukraine

With only a few days remaining before the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, the main political parties are sparing no efforts in trying to pick up votes, using all means at their disposal. The gap between the two main camps is small.

The Party of Regions has already built their podium to celebrate the first place they are expecting in the upcoming poll. The race between them and the ‘orange camp’ is close so every point counts.

The results are not yet known but the main contenders have already rushed to accuse each other of fraud.

Some expect the fight for power to be dirty. 

“They are losing. The orange parties are mad that our ratings have surged – even in Kiev. That’s why they will revert to buying votes. It also seems that someone is always trying to disrupt our camp. Today an ambulance arrived three times on false calls. We know it’s them,” says Igor Gogolev, a supporter of the Party of Regions.

The orange camp has also made allegations of malpractice. The Our Ukraine party found 100,000 non-existent people in voter lists in the city of Kharkov where the Prime Minister’s support is high.

The security service controlled by President Yushchenko has also launched probes into alleged election fraud attempts in the east of Ukraine.

Some of President Yushchenko’s supporters say the Prime Minister’s team is trying to win at any cost.

“I heard that the Party of Regions is paying some people 20 US dollars, some five. And people say that if they accept the money, they can’t vote differently, because they are afraid,” says Ludmila,a Kiev resident.

Some analysts also admit that this election was organised way too soon to produce objective results, and that many legal norms were violated.

“The committee of voters in Ukraine counted 10% deviation for this election. This departure will be connected with simple demographical errors, dead people in voter lists etc. Knowing this phenomenal number, the President still says that we will have a democratic election,” explains Andrey Ermolaev from the Sofia sociological centre. 

Despite Ukraine’s long-standing reputation as a country of dubious politics, last year’s parliamentary poll was dubbed the fairest ever. However this does not guarantee transparency this time round because President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yanukovich are equally well placed to influence events from their positions of administrative power.