Second round of elections: main problems and risks
Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) Chairman Oleksiy Koshel noted during a press briefing that the second round of elections will take place on November 15 in 7 communities, and on November 22 in other communities. The second round will likely take place during the weekend quarantine, which may affect voter turnout. To reduce the impact of the weekend quarantine on the election process, the Committee of Voters calls on the Chief Medical Officer and the Minister of Health to focus on security. Local authorities, in turn, should inspect the readiness of polling stations before election day to avoid the errors and irregularities recorded during the first round of elections.
Oleksiy Koshel also noted that the last week of the election traditionally provokes a surge in the use of dark PR. For example, in a Facebook group for Kherson, information was spread about the candidate for mayor of the city. It was alleged that he plans to demolish the monument to Georgy Potemkin, who is considered the founder of Kherson. Such a negative campaign can significantly affect election results. Telegram channels are an example of how social networks are instrumental in negatively impacting the elections; users anonymously publish false information to a large audience.
CVU analyst Denys Rybachok noted the main reasons for the delay in announcing the election results, identifying judicial appeals against the result as the leading factor. As a result, TECs cannot complete the vote count while trials are ongoing. According to CVU observers, the Chernivtsi TEC has not yet established the results of the first round of elections. TECs decided to recount votes at 62 polling stations. The head of the TEC was also replaced, and three members of the commission contracted Covid-19. The CVU also assessed the election process in Lviv and found no reason to discuss mass fraud in the city.
The CVU believes that the CEC should intervene to determine the election results in troubled communities. "In the opinion of the Committee of Voters, it is currently extremely important to stop all manipulations related to the establishment of election results. How can this be done? We believe that the Central Election Commission should intervene in the situation and independently establish the election results in troubled communities," said the CVU analyst. "Part 6 of Art. 205 of the Electoral Code clearly states that if the territorial election commission has not established the results of the relevant local elections in the manner and within the timeframe provided by the Electoral Code, then the CEC may establish the results of local elections directly," the CVU added.
A recording of this briefing with English interpretation can be watched below.