“UDAR” Demands that Prosecutor General’s Office Stop Pressuting Party Members

03.10.2012 14:22

“UDAR” demands to stop unmotivated pressure on its Party members in various regions of Ukraine, and to put an end to obstruction of election campaigns of opposition candidates, especially in Zaporizhzhya oblast. “UDAR” forwarded an official statement regarding the issue to Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO).

The statement reads, “Representatives of the “UDAR” Party of Vitaliy Klychko in Zaporizhzhya oblast are experiencing pressure, which hinders the progress of their election campaign and limits the realization of rights and guarantees of candidate activities according to the Law of Ukraine “Regarding elections of National Deputies of Ukraine”. Representatives of the Party, including national deputies Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, Iryna Herashchenko, Kyrylo Kulikov, Andriy Okhrimenko, and Bohdan Vasylenko personally delivered the statement to Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Voytsyshyn.

Activists of the Party had also planned a picket in front of PGO’s walls; however, due to a ban by the Administrative Court, the protest had to be moved in front of the Central Election Committee.

“UDAR” would like to remind everyone that single-mandate candidate in Zaporizhzhya oblast Vadym Kryvokhatko currently faces four criminal cases and is on the wanted list; his family and colleagues are being terrorized by the tax service and militia. Zaporizhzhya Party office is under constant surveillance from law enforcement.

The Party claims that Governor of Zaporizhzhya is directly involved in the harassment and persecution of Kryvohatko. Meanwhile, he should have been behind political processes and handled issues directly related to regional development instead of chasing opponents.

Other “UDAR” candidates in the region are experiencing similar issues. Specifically, Andriy Okhrymenko and Bohdan Vasylenko have complained about threats, power pressure, and “invented” criminal cases against them. According to the candidates, unidentified people have called them and demanded them to exit the race under the threat of “serious health issues for them and their family members”.

“We appealed to the GPO with a request to take immediate action to prevent Zaporizhzhya local prosecutor’s office from abusing their power in order to put undue pressure on the candidates and their families”, said Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, national deputy candidate from the “UDAR” Party.

“UDAR” also noted that the pressure and the use of administrative resources against their candidates is not unique to Zaporizhzhya. These methods are popular in all regions, particularly Kyiv, Kmelnitsk, Luhansk, and Odessa oblasts, in order to secure a sure victory for pro-government candidates.

“For some reason, people begin having these problems only if they represent an opposition party and only when the election campaign launches. If someone calls and says “exit the race or else”, this is political pressure. The legal authorities should address the issue immediately”, said Iryna Herashchenko, national deputy candidate from the “UDAR” Party.

The politician also noted that it is very important for all opposition forces to unite around key issues, specifically election preparations, protecting election results, and defending the legal position.

“UDAR” Party has proposed other opposition parties to support Klychko in demanding to stop opening politically motivated and “commissioned” criminal cases against opposition candidates. The party is also planning to hand over any collected materials regarding pressure and intimidation of its candidates to international election observers in Ukraine.

As a reminder, Leader of the “UDAR” Party Vitaliy Klychko is planning to meet with Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka on October 5 in order to discuss the issue and to convey all the information regarding the numerous cases of pressure and intimidation of candidates in person.

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