Sunday, March 05, 2006

Denister region denied right to vote

Democracy open to political manipulation- ITAR-TASS

Other developments that are of interest is the decision not to establish polling places in Moldova Dniester Region. ITAR-TASS March 3, 2006

This decision appears to be politically bias raising concern as to the conduct of the poll and President Yuchenko claims to provide open democracy for Ukraine.

Extract

CHISINAU, March 3 (Itar-Tass) -- The Ukrainian authorities have in fact stripped the 67,000 Ukrainian citizens resident in Moldova’s breakaway Dniester Region of the right to vote in the March 26 parliamentary elections, the government of the self-proclaimed republic has said. Earlier, Ukraine’s Central Electoral Commission decided against opening a polling station in the problem territory’s capital city of Tiraspol. The Dniester Region’s authorities responded with surprise to this decision. When Ukraine in 2004 was electing a president, seven polling stations were open in the area. The Dniester Region’s foreign minister, Valery Litskai, recalls that Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko last year came up with a plan for democratization in the Dniester Region. “How can one talk about democracy and at the same time strip the country’s citizens in the Dniester Region of the right to vote?” Litskai said. Local observers see certain political calculations behind Kiev’s refusal to open polling stations in the Dniester Region. In the 2004 presidential poll the local electorate almost unanimously supported Yushchenko’s chief rival, Viktor Yanukovich, who received 90 percent of the votes. Kiev now fears that Ukrainians in the Dniester Region may vote against the “orange candidates” again.

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