People's Deputy and Social Democratic Union leader Serhiy Peresunko has
called "for joint efforts of those who did not support the nomination of
L. Kuchma in order to prevent the fixing of the electoral process and the
elections themselves... The regime has cowardly deprived the people of
Ukraine of one of their rights, the right to the truth and unbiased information.
Again, as in 1937, people are paying for the right to air their own opinion
with their jobs, freedom, and even their life. Hence the Social Democratic
Union proposes forming a national alliance of parties, non-governmental
organizations, and parliamentarians, a Bloc For Honest Elections."
A day earlier Parliament's Rada Committee for State Construction, Local
Government, and Councils turned down proposed amendments to the presidential
election law. Of course, the rules of the game should not be changed during
the campaign. But representatives of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC)
claim it is impossible to hold elections under current law.
When the law was still under consideration in March, Mykhailo Riabets
warned it was impossible to centrally print over 30 million paper ballots.
Hromada Deputies connected with publishing insisted on their position.
Now the situation is such that 40 days before the elections, polling stations
receive their voter lists (Article 20 of the law), check them, and only
then place an order with the CEC for the required number of paper ballots.
Only then can the CEC place 32,000 orders with a printer, for each paper
ballot must bear the printed number of the polling station (Article 40).
Now it turns out that it would take 48 days to print this quantity of paper
ballots in one place. In other words, the paper ballots will be available
only 10 days after the elections!
The situation is still more tragicomic when it comes to the runoff:
there are 14 days between the second and first stages, but it again takes
48 days to print the ballots. For the CEC will not be able to identify
independently who will make it into the second round and place an order
with a printing firm!
If polling stations are to be authorized to prepare the lists earlier
than 40 days before the elections, it will require another several million
hryvnias not allocated in the budget. And lawmakers refuse to allow the
polling station number to be removed from the ballots. A decision needs
to be made immediately, but neither the CEC nor the relevant parliamentary
committee have figured out what to do.