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Million ukrainians will not be able to vote

Sunday's elections in Ukraine will determine who does not become president. And so, we get to know which two of the three top candidates who will go on to the decisive round of three weeks. Right now leaning polls to the old prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko go out in the first round.

On Saturday it was what you call a ”quiet day” prior to election day. All valagitation is by law prohibited, and I could not see even a few election posters on the town. They had hastily plucked down during the night.

the case of opinion polls, which no longer published. Should we judge by the last measurements – from Thursday – leads the politically untested comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskyj pretty clear, with 28 per cent among those who have decided.

The two closest competitors are the incumbent president, Petro Porosjenko, which in recent weeks has lifted from katastrofsiffror and 18%, and Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister who is running a populist agenda, which receives less than 13 per cent.

If the numbers appear low, the explanation is that the grid is fragmented in twenty or so candidates, of which most have a barely measurable support of between 0.1 and 2 percent.

not very reliable. One uncertainty factor is that a quarter of voters have not yet decided who to vote for.

If the opinion poll, from the Democratic Initiatives Foundation – turns out to be true, it means that approaching a duel between a etablissemangspolitiker and a newcomer with no political experience.

Ukraine found itself in five years in the war, and the essential elements of the country's territory is practically occupied by Russia – the peninsula Crimea and a large part of the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

But there is nothing that has been marked especially during the electoral campaign of the leading candidates is the most president Porosjenko have talked about Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimea.

from Russia, only that he would like to speak with Moscow”. Tymoshenko also keeps a low profile in the issue, and engaged the most to talk about increasing pensions and lowering the price of gas.

the War and the occupation has several concrete implications for the choice; the idps from the separatistkontrollerade areas – officially 1.5 million people – has major problems with getting to vote.

Of the four million ukrainians are estimated to live in the occupied Donbass and the two million on it annexed Crimea only has just under 100,000 voters registered in the Ukrainian presidential elections.

– the Problem is that people who live in or come from the occupied territories must re-register in the electoral rolls at one place in the part of the country controlled by the Ukraine government. Where Russia has control to go the not to vote, " says Natalia Novykova, 28, who comes from a village outside Luhansk which are within the separatistkontrollerat area, near the border to Russia.

Natalia Novykova, 28, comes from the separatistkontrollerade Luhansk, and is now working to help internally displaced persons to register to vote. Photo: Michael Winiarski

, but it has not been easy even for her to register for the election, where she lives.

" It may look easy on paper, but it is necessary to go to a particular office, and when I went there, there was a long queue and I had to stand for three hours in the rain to get to submit my application. Imagine, then, how difficult it is to make use of their right to vote for an elderly or seriously ill person living in the rysskontrollerat area!

It required two trips into the non-occupied Ukraine in order to vote; a time to re-register and once to vote. Given the long queues at the checkpoints in and out of the separatistområdena it is for many an insurmountable task.

The absurdity is that the exact same procedure must be repeated for those who want to vote in the presidential election second round on 21 april.

– this means that The same person is once again deprived of their right to vote!

Natalia Novykova has since she came to Kiev, involved in a ngo that works for the many internflyktingarnas rights. She calls the current system of voter registration ”discriminatory”.

– It does not take into account that Ukraine is a country where a large part of the population during the last five years have moved on, due to war, occupation and arbetsutvandring.

Aleksandra Tselisjeva, 33, who comes from the Crimea, have been queuing for hours to vote in Sunday's elections. Photo: Michael Winiarski

coming from the Crimea, says that those who come from the peninsula, has it comparatively easier to röstregistrera than those who are from the Donbass, where the boundaries between separatistzonerna and the government-controlled areas is not always so clear.

" We don't need a certificate stating that we are internally displaced people. The problem is that many people who live in the Crimea have long distances to travel, and that they are starting to be more and more mentally separated from the Ukraine. Their focus has increasingly ended up on what is happening in Russia.

But Aleksandra Tselisjeva do not believe that it will remain so forever.

– A beautiful day, the Crimea to be back in Ukraine. It might seem unlikely. But who thought that the Soviet union would be dissolved five years before it happened?

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