Bribing voters is a key issue in the elections in the amalgamated territorial communities (ATC), which were held on April 29. EPDE member CVU’s observers recorded the use of indirect and direct bribery technologies in the most communities. Among other issues of the election campaign are facts of pressure on candidates and problems in the work of electoral commissions.
Director General of NGO "Committee of voters of Ukraine" Oleksiy Koshel summarized the election process in his Facebook page with the following statements:
The April 29, 2018 elections have become the dirtiest campaign in the history of the ATC elections since October 2015. Political parties and candidates have set a "record" for both by the number and the volume of voter bribes.
CVU observers received information about 25 facts of bribery (the real figure could be much higher), law enforcement agencies have opened criminal proceedings in 5 oblasts, During the polling day there was сaught red-handed 3 buyers of votes. Even though the elections took place only in 40 ATC.
Absolute record holders on buying of votes - the political parties "Batkivshchyna", the Agrarian Party and "Nash Kray". Several facts of bribery are in the Radical Party. One in the Block of Petro Poroshenko.
Published photos and videos about the "grids", scheming and concrete facts of buying votes give grounds for prediction of at least 10 effective criminal cases. Nevertheless, according to the results of the parliamentary elections in 2014 and local election in 2015 in Ukraine there was no precedent of imprisoning for buying votes. The impunity itself has allowed politicians to turn elections into a supermarket for the sale of votes.
The complete mess in the work of a number of election commissions is the problem of recent election campaigns. 8 polling stations opened with serious delay, which made part of the voters unable to vote. Among other things, the obstruction of the work of observers, violation of the secrecy of voting, conflict situations and even absurd decisions.
Some government officials do not give up attempts to interfere in the electoral process. On the eve of the election, the Radical Party of Liashko and the "Batkivshchyna" stated about pressure on their candidates and attempts to use of the administrative resources. Among the main applicants of appeals are the chairmen of the Novovodolaz District State Administration of Charkiw Region (Oblast) and the deputy Head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration.
Most of "alive" and active political parties have traditionally ignored the election. In total, only 27 of the 356 officially registered political forces participated in the campaign. Among the parties that have refused to participate in the elections you can also see party that are leaders in the presidential and parliamentary ratings ( according to the opinion polls).
At the elections on April 29, we saw attempts to organize systematic bribery, which could be repeated allover Ukrainian during the 2019 parliamentary elections. The main mean of preventing the electoral crimes should be a full-fledged electoral reform with the elimination of the majoritarian component and the total prohibition of political advertising. That is why the adoption of the electoral reform in the next 6 months (one year before the parliamentary elections) should become a key requirement for the Verkhovna Rada.