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You're reading: People First: The latest in the watch on Ukrainian democracy

Voter hunting season opens

Since
the official start of the election campaign on July 30, both the government and
the opposition have joined in the battle for voters’ hearts. Experts believe
that the biggest issues during this election campaign will be direct
administrative pressure on candidates and their businesses; as well as outright
vote buying. The current elections law “On Elections of People’s Deputies of
Ukraine” is riddled with defects, allowing the government to abuse their powers
when registering candidates, organising the election process and counting
votes.

The
introduction of video surveillance will not have a substantial impact on the
voting process. At the moment the majority of government members who are
participating in the election campaign, including the prime minister are campaigning skipping summer vacation.
Vote buying has already reared its ugly head in the form of free music
concerts, give away grocery baskets, school packs ahead of Sept. 1, other
presents such as glasses and mobile phones and even direct cash payments of Hr 100-200
($15-$25).

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