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5 days before the election: main trends, threats, risks

(October 20, 2020)


Press Briefing summary by Committee of Voters of Ukraine, 19.10.2020

    At the beginning of the press conference we discussed the threats and risks that intensified in the run-up to the election. Oleksiy Koshel emphasized that the possibility of changing the election address became a risk for mass falsifications. After all, an insufficiently thought-out law has led to the creation of a new term in the campaign – election tourism, ie a fictitious voter has the opportunity to vote simultaneously in several districts for a particular party. CVU received a number of reports from its observers, who reported unnatural population growth in the regions and local communities. As a result, the CVU conducted a sample analysis of the state voter register, which identified more than 20 communities with an abnormally large number of voters. In some regions, that increase reached 20% of the total population. For example, in the Karolino-Bahaz amalgamated territorial community there was an increase of 513 voters in a month, this means that if the turnout in this amalgamated hromada is 40%, then every fourth vote is the vote of an electoral tourist. This is a direct way to distort the election results. This manipulation method is quite common. In Fontans’ka rural community the increase by 745 voters, in Slobidsko-Kulchievetska community + 239 voters, Kozyn +170. The consequence of such a method is the distortion of election results, because at low turnout this can significantly affect the election result. In such districts where population growth is observed, patrols need to be stepped up to prevent mass forgery.

    The CVU has reported an increase in violence and the use of ‘black PR’ in the last days before the election. For example, in Rivne black propaganda material was circulated against the candidate “For the Future”, this included newspapers with the inscription “For the Future of Igor Kolomoisky”. In Kharkiv region an agitator from European Solidarity has been attacked.

    CVU experts singled out the most problematic regions during the elections: Zakarpattia oblast and Odesa oblast. The analysis was conducted according to the following criteria: the fact of bribery, the fact of violence, election tourism. In Zakarpattia, voter bribery nets and facts of violence are often recorded, for example, in Vyshkivska amalgamated territorial community a candidate from «Opposition platform – for life» died as a result of the beating. Record cases of election tourism and mechanisms of voter bribery in Odesa region have been recorded.

    Odesa and Zakarpattia need increased attention from the media, observers, and law enforcement to avoid mass violations during the Election Day.

    Natalia Lynnyk reported about the training of CVU observers and announced the opening of an international media center, which will open on October the 21, 2020, so that international observer missions have the opportunity to observe the election process remotely. She also told about the CVU’s work on social networks, in particular about the creation of a Facebook page “Local 2020”, and about a profile on the Tik-Tok network in order to involve young people in the election process.

    The main problem of the election period is voter bribery. This violation is recorded in one third of the regions of Ukraine. The most common form of bribery is the distribution of products to voters, including masks and antiseptics. In the Lviv region, branded masks with the candidate’s logo were distributed in Davydivska OTG. In the city of Kyiv, masks with the party’s logo were distributed and left in mailboxes.

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