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    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    More election dirt in Ukraine

    Just a quick post to highlight a pair of worrying articles in the Kyiv Post.

    The first is a warning from the Committee of Ukrainian Voters that the Sept. 30 parliamentary vote looks likely to be "dirtier" than the rigged 2004 presidential race that sparked the Orange Revolution.

    The KVU, as it's known by its Ukrainian acronym, is an American-backed NGO that played a key catalyst role three years ago, publicly highlighting the fraud perpetrated by the Yanukovich side and inciting Ukrainians to take to the streets to "defend" their vote. It's not hard to interpret the press conference by KVU head Ihor Popov as a clear indication he thinks the country is headed for yet more street theatre after the parliamentary vote.

    “Further escalation of societal tension can lead to direct action of the losing side that does not recognize defeat and use all resources to prove it is right,” Popov is quoted as saying.

    The other article of note is a report by Stephen Bandera on the alleged doctoring of opinion polls by the various camps. "Rumors continue to spread that many pollsters fudge figures for a fee to boost voter confidence in the party that paid," Bandera writes.

    Paid-for polling (by both the pro-Western and pro-Russian camps) was another feature of the dirty 2004 vote. It's astonishing how quickly Ukraine appears to be tumbling back into the same trap.

    3 comments:

    Blair Sheridan said...

    I think you're dead-on right to be concerned.

    Pre-election polling and exit polling are likely to play a very unwelcome role in these elections.

    Ukrainians may have changed, but their politicians are still utterly unrepresentative, and the situation is not helped by the party list system, whereby a cash donation can secure anyone a place.

    It's depressing, even for an outsider like me.

    Michael Averko said...

    Yet, the propaganda continues about how post-Kuchma Ukraine is supposedly more advanced than Russia on the matter of having a representative system.

    Anonymous said...

    Great post, I am almost 100% in agreement with you