Tabulation Process in Ukraine Marred by Violations, Manipulation
In many DECs, the tabulation of results has been extraordinarily long; in several DECs (11, 94, 95, 186, 189, 197, 211, 223) the tabulation was not completed, as of Friday. PEC members are being forced to stay for days without rest at the DECs, in crowded, tense and often terrible conditions. In some cases PEC members left the DECs with their election materials without submitting results. Several DECs have taken breaks, in breach of the law, during the tabulation process.
The process of tabulation in several cases is non-transparent, chaotic, and marred by violations; observers noted, for example, cases of PEC protocols being ‘corrected' on site at the DEC without the approval of the required quorum of members, and not back at the PEC, and unfilled, pre-signed protocols. An alarmingly high number of PEC protocols were sent back to the PECs for corrections.
Moreover, there are serious problems with manipulation of electronic results, as observed on the CEC website in a significant number of districts. Egregious cases have been noted of results being changed after 100% of polling station results protocols have been submitted by DECs, as well as cases of PECs with anomalous results. The CEC has stated that they have received falsified electronic transfers of results. In general, observers were not allowed into the tabulation rooms, by an earlier decision of the CEC, which was upheld by the courts. This limited their ability to fully observe a vital phase of the election process.
Mission Canada observers noted cases of pressure and intimidation of both PEC and DEC members. This fact, coupled with the intentional delays in tabulation throughout the process, is evidence of attempts to purposefully manipulate results, particularly in competitive races, such as Kyiv city and Kyiv oblast districts. A particularly tense and troubling situation is developing in Mykolaiv oblast, DEC 132; special police forces have removed election materials from the DEC.
A deputy head of the Central Election Commission stated on Thursday that, "…the most important phase of the election, tabulation of voting and results of the election, today has entered a very dreadful phase," as reported on Interfax Ukraine. She went on to say the next day that she believes that a re-run of the election may be necessary in some districts, pending examination of materials by the CEC.
Although election-day was mostly orderly, Mission Canada has noted that the pre-election period fell short of meeting international standards in some significant respects. We now note that the process of vote tabulation has been marred by serious violations, which raises doubts about the integrity of the results in several districts.
A number of lawsuits have already been filed, challenging results at the precinct and district levels. Mission Canada will continue to observe the tabulation process and follow election-related court cases over the next days.