Oksana Prodan: Voters Can and Should Protect Their Votes

04.10.2012 14:55

In order to protect expression of their will, it is vital that Ukrainian voters not only attend the polls on Election Day, but also that they protect their choice. After all, in modern Ukraine one has to constantly and actively defend his or her electoral rights. Oksana Prodan, co-organizer of the “Tax Maidan” and deputy candidate from the “UDAR” Party addressed the issue during a speech at Vitaliy Portnikov’s “Politclub”.

According to Prodan, there is massive abuse of administrative resources among pro-government forces, who are trying to impose their “own rules” for these elections. Under these circumstances, voters become disillusioned about election results. “During our meetings with voters, we have to spend much time just to convince them to attend the election polls. I constantly hear people talk about their disappointment and lack of confidence in the weight of their votes”, said Prodan.

She also gave examples of massive events, through which the party in power is trying to manipulate voting results. For example, many of the so-called “independent” candidates in single-mandate districts are actually fully supported by the party in power. “Voters want to vote for an ostensibly independent candidate, while he or she is actually promoted using Party of Regions resources”, noted Prodan. Therefore, she recommended voters to study biographies of the candidates, for whom they decide to vote.

Oksana Prodan also suggests checking your name on the voter list ahead of time and actually voting on Election Day, as this is the only way to prevent the government from falsifying your ballot.

Prodan gave the example of Ternopil city community, which was successful in counteracting future falsifications in the region. “Civil activists published and disseminated lists of District and Precinct Election Committee members in order to send a signal to those, who accepted money from the Party of Regions. In fact, there have already been multiple cases of committee members stepping down, because they realized that the community is monitoring their actions”, related Prodan.

The “UDAR” candidate added that election observers also have a real power to influence the election process. Every observer should draw up a protocol for any noticed violations, and demand a copy of the vote count protocol from the Precinct Committee in order to compare it with the announced results of the District Committee. “Such coordinated and systematic cooperation of voters and observers will allow us to defend the real choice of the voters and prevent electoral fraud”, concluded Prodan.

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