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06KIEV1194, UKRAINE: RADA ELECTION TALLY AT 83 PERCENT; KIEV

March 28, 2006

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06KIEV1194 2006-03-28 16:03 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kyiv
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KIEV 001194 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/28/2016 
TAGS: PGOV PINR KDEM RU
SUBJECT: UKRAINE: RADA ELECTION TALLY AT 83 PERCENT; KIEV 
MAYORAL ELECTION LOOKING AT UPSET 

Classified By: Ambassador for reasons 1.4(a,b,d). 

1. (C) Summary:  Official results continued to come in slowly 
but steadily through the day March 28, with relative 
percentages holding steady at Yanukovych 30, Tymoshenko 22 
and Our Ukraine 15.  Most parties have not voiced any 
significant complaints about the election, but Tymoshenko's 
bloc continues to question the results in Donetsk since 
observers were not provided results protocols, and the 
Committee of Voters of Ukraine reported one instance of vote 
padding in Donetsk.  Also, some sporadic reports from 
precinct commissions of efforts in the district commission to 
manipulate votes have surfaced.  Nevertheless, the Central 
Election Commission is posting results for individual 
precints for the first time this year, which allows observers 
to confirm that precinct results were recorded centrally as 
they were tallied locally.  Kiev's mayoral race is shaping up 
to be a major upset, with opposition candidate Chernovetskyy 
in the lead with 96 percent of the vote counted.  Preliminary 
results in the races for Kiev City and Oblasts Radas 
(councils) indicate a strong showing for Orange parties, with 
Tymoshenko's bloc well in the lead, which should give reform 
parties comfortable majorities.  End summary. 

Official Results 
---------------- 
2. (U) CEC official results continued to come slowly 
throughout the day March 28.  With 83.40 percent of precincts 
reporting at 6:00 pm, the official votes tally stood at: 

Regions           30.59 percent 
Tymoshenko        22.40 
Our Ukraine       15.01 
Socialists         6.04 
Communists         3.61 
----------3% threshold-------- 
Vitrenko           2.62 
Lytvyn             2.49 
Kostenko-Plyushch  2.07 
Viche              1.59 
PORA-PRP           1.48 

Reported Election Problems 
-------------------------- 
3. (U) Editor of the Donetsk novini.dn.ua website Oleksiy 
Matsuka alleged that some polling stations were intentionally 
delaying results of the vote count until observers fell 
askeep or left.  As of 10 pm on March 27 only 6 out of 40 
polling stations in Voroshylovskyy district in Donetsk 
submitted protocols to district election commissions.  He 
suspected this delay was someone's attempt to modify the 
results when observers were no longer present to verify the 
accuracy of protocols.  He reported that the results 
submitted by one polling station to district election 
commission were slightly modified (100 votes) in favor of 
Regions.  The Committee of Voters of Donetsk also reported 
that in two polling stations its observers were denied 
protocols; polling station members said their unillingness to 
issue more protocols for observers was because of fatigue. 
(Note: Large numbers of observers were present at most 
polling stations, and producing signed copies of the 
protocols for them does take additional time.  The CEC 
website is posting results for individual polling stations 
this year, so observers who witnessed the counts should be 
able to verify whether they were reported properly.) 

4. (SBU) One of the OSCE/ODIHR long-term observers (LTOs) in 
Luhansk Oblast indicated that extremely long vote counts and 
error-ridden protocols were the norm there.  The LTO 
attributed this to overworked, exhausted polling station 
commission (PSC) workers making arithmetic errors while 
preparing the protocols.  According to the LTO, many PSCs 
were taking their protocols to their District Election 
Commission (DEC) and having them refused because of numerous 
errors.  The CEC website indicated Luhansk Oblast had one of 
the lower percentages of protocols reported in as of 6 pm 
March 28 at 66%. 

5. (SBU) Late in the day a couple of commissioners from PSC 
110 in TEC 218, Shevchenko district, Kiev, showed up at the 
Embassy alleging that they had been pressured to change the 
local election results of their PSC.  The commissioners told 
us that when they packaged the ballots and took their 
protocol to the TEC (Territorial Election Commission, that 
gathers and records local election results), the TEC refused 
to receive the results and told them they needed to change 
the number of registered voters on their protocol by around 
2-300 people.  The TEC staffers also said that they would 
also had to change figures on the other pages of the 
protocol.  The commissioners refused, and went to see the TEC 
chairperson who said they should do what the TEC staffers 
requested.  The TEC staffers threatened that they would be 
sent to jail if they did not change the protocol.  The PSC 
commissioners made a complaint at the district prosecutor's 
office, but the prosecutors office would not accept the 
complaint because, they said, it was illegible.  The 
commissioners refused to re-write it, citing that they had 
been awake more than 72 hours.  The two planned to go next to 
the municipal prosecutor.  The PSC commissioners said they 
thought this might be happening at other PSCs in Shevchenko 
district.  (Note:  This episode relates only to the local 
election results.  Other people from this PSC were in line at 
the DEC, waiting to deliver the parliamentary results for 
their PSC.) 

Kiev City Election 
------
------------ 

6. (U) In a major upset, official results of the Kiev mayoral 
election with 96.63 percent of the vote counted at 6 pm 
continued to show Our Ukraine member Chernovetskyy in the 
lead with 31.18 percent of the vote, followed by Klychko with 
23.21 percent and Omelchenko with only 20.82 percent, 
according to the Pora-PRP website.  The CEC chairman 
complained during the day that mayoral election results were 
coming in before parliamentary results, contrary to the rule 
that parliamentary should be counted first; mid-day 
parliamentary returns from Kiev were only about 72 percent 
reported while the Kiev city vote count was over 90 percent 
reported.  In a press conference last night, Klychko called 
Chernovetskyy the victor. 

7. (U) In the Kiev City Rada election, Tymoshenko's BYuT was 
strongly in the lead at 6pm with 94.41 percent of the vote 
counted (also as reported on the Pora-PRP website): 

BYuT                  23.97 percent 
OU                     8.70 
PORA-PRP               8.33 
Regions                5.72 
Kiev People's Aktyv    3.96 
Socialists             3.84 
Lytvyn Bloc            3.58 
--------------------------- 
European Capitol       2.31 
Kostenko-Plyushch      1.65 

(Note:  Hromadskyy Aktyv Kyyeva (HAK): "Aktyv" is a 
Soviet-era word for the nomenklatura or leadership that does 
not translate well.  The HAK bloc is headed by former Our 
Ukraine member Oleksandr Pabat, who left OU in December 2005. 
 The group appears to have a young leadership and claims to 
represent a coalition of civic organizations.  Word on the 
street is that the bloc is financed by someone close to BYuT. 
 HAK was active long before the election in distributing 
information to the public about Ukrainian laws and voting 
rights, and its major slogan is that the Kiev city council 
should represent Kiev citizens not policial parties; it does 
not advertise the fact that it actually formed on the basis 
of three small parties (note:  NGOs legally cannot nominate 
candidates).  Its platform includes equal access to 
universities, based on objective evaluations of academic 
performance, and other reforms. 

If these percentages hold, a Tymoshenko-Our Ukraine coalition 
could control about 68 of the 120 seats on the city Rada, and 
Pora another 17 (Bondarenko evidently misrepresented the 
council composition at 90, reported reftel; it recently 
increased). 

Bio Note 
-------- 
8. (U) Leonid Chernovetskyy was born in Kharkiv in 1951. 
After the mandatory army service (he served in the internal 
forces as a prison guard), Chernovetskyy graduated from 
Kharkiv Institute of Law.  In 1977, he started working as a 
investigator and then senior official in the Kiev 
prosecutor's office.  Some time later he started teaching at 
the Criminal law department of Kiev Shevchenko University. 
Since 1990, he has headed the Praveks concern, which includes 
Praveks Bank (one of Ukraine's largest) and several insurance 
and legal consulting businesses. 

9. (U) Chernovetskyy was elected to the Rada three times. 
His political career started when he set up the "For a 
Beautiful Ukraine" party in the early nineties.  The party 
later became one of the founders of the Party of Regions.  In 
1998, Chernovetskyy belonged to the pro-Kuchma NDP.  Some 
time after the 2002 elections, Chenovetskyy joined 
Yushchenko's Our Ukraine, leading Oleksandr Omelchenko's son 
to leave the faction in protest.  Chernovetskyy served as 
Yushchenko's presidential advisor. 

10. (SBU) Chernovetskyy is eccentric.  He is associated with 
the God's Embassy church and is the chairman of the Christian 
Liberal Party of Ukraine.  The website Criminal Ukraine (at 
that time owned by investigative journalist Oleh Yeltsov) 
wrote in 2003 that under cover of the Church, Chernovetskyy 
and the Church's bishop Sunday Adeladja were involved in drug 
trafficking.  In April 2003 a Mercedes that belonged to 
Praveks bank ran over a boy, and Chernovetskyy was said to 
have been behind the wheel at the time, but the case never 
went anywhere. 

11. (U) Visit Embassy Kiev's classified website: 
www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/kiev. 
Herbst

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