Elections in the Crimea: Black PR and bribing the voters

Andriy Krisko, Head of the Crimean Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine [CVU] reports that the current parliamentary election campaign has been characterized by the widespread use of black PR methods, manipulation of information and bribing of voters.

CVU Head Oleksandr Chernenko adds that the pre-election situation in the Crimea from the point of view of the number and nature of infringements does not differ significantly from other regions of the country.

Perhaps the one thing that distinguishes the Crimea, he says, was the situation at Electoral District No. 2 where the precinct electoral commissions were not formed within the prescribed timeframe. “This is a flagrant violation of legislation, the likes of which has not been seen before in Ukraine”, Mr Chernenko said.

Speaking about the general trends, the CVU representatives noted that with respect to black PR, as well as leaflets without issue details and clone newspapers, they had also observed new techniques whereby technical candidates were used not only to form loyal electoral commissions, but also as information “killers” for their main political opponents.

As well as noting a certain number of cases where administrative resources had been used, CVU also pointed to a significant number of reports of such use based on unreliable or even deliberately distorted information.

Andriy Krisko suggested that while there had never been elections where administrative resources were not used, attempts by certain political parties to mislead the public by suggesting mass use of administrative resource were also not making the election campaign in the Crimea more honest or transparent.

CVU drew particular attention to cases of indirect bribing of voters, pointing out that this was an infringement of electoral legislation. Oleksandr Chernenko called on all participants in the elections and NGOs to monitor this and report such cases to the police.


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