Ukraine Holds Local Elections


by NTDTelevision

Local elections were held in Ukraine on Sunday, October 31st. Ukrainian and international observers monitored the voting process. Official election results will be announced at the end of the week. Our correspondents from Kyiv bring us the details.

International observers say elections of local authorities in Ukraine were pretty much held democratically. There were some technical violations, but they did not influence voting results.

[Alexei Kochetkov, Director, International Observer Mission CIS-EMO]
"Elections violations were sporadic. They should be used to further the improvement of Ukrainian election legislation."

Almost five hundred observers from different countries visited the polls, to communicate with commission members and voters on election day. Most of the violations observed were ballot-related. Some voter registries were outdated and some election commission members were not adequately trained.

But there were some unacceptable political strategies on polling day.

This marks the first time since Ukraine became independent that elections of local authorities were held separately from parliamentary elections.

Exit polls show the pro-presidential Party of Regions led with 36.2% of the votes. This is almost three times more than the rating for former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party – the "Batkivshina" – which garnered only 13.1%.

Voter turnout was quite low with only about half of the electorate voting. Political analyst Vladimyr Fesenko sees this as an alarming sign.

The next time Ukrainians come to the election polls will be to choose a parliament. And if the Constitutional Court does not decide to extend the working term of the current legislature in Parliament, elections could be held as early as next year.

NTD, Kyiv, Ukraine.