In Ukraine, pre-election fight entered an important phase. Registration of candidates has been finished. Yesterday, Mikhail Ryabets, chairman of election commission, carried out a press-conference on this subject. In particular, he reported that in 223 one-mandated election districts 2.888 candidates were registered: 1.394 candidates were proposed by political parties and blocks, while 1.494 are independent candidates. According to Mikhail Ryabets, the least number of candidates were registered in one-mandate districts of Sevastopol, of Sumy and Chernigov regions, while the biggest number – in districts of Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Charkov regions and of Kiev. The average number of pretenders to deputy mandates makes 13 people. Yesterday, Ukrainian Constitutional Court admitted points of the law “About Election of People’s Deputies” devoted to money pledge. However, according to 63 deputies, who made already constitutional presentation, depositing money pledge by deputies does not correspond with Ukrainian Fundamental Law. The fate of election in Ukraine seems to concern official Washington. The day before yesterday, Pola Dobrianski, US Under Secretary of State, arrived to Kiev. Yesterday, she received the Socialist Party’s leader Alexandr Moroz. According to information agencies, at the meeting, Moroz handed her over the list of main violations of the election legislation during this campaign. Among these violations, enforcement to party membership, forced gathering of money for election campaign, bribery of electors and other facts were mentioned. In the document, there were concrete examples of every mentioned violation. Pola Dobrianski is planning to meet with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, Prime-Minister Anatoli Kinakh, vice-premier Vasily Rogov, the head of the Central Election Commission Mikhail Ryabets and representatives of different political parties and organizations. At a possible meeting with journalists, Pola Dobrianski is expected to express US position on the election. Pola Dobrianski is Ukrainian by birth, her previous post was the chairman of Washington Office of Foreign Citizens Council, which is a very influential organization. Ukraine is broadly discussing the question about possible participation in the election of Nikolai Melnichenko, Leonid Kuchma’s former guard. Ukrainian Supreme Court was considering this question for 8 hours, though the decision was not taken. The Central Election Committee did not registered his candidacy, because he wrongly indicated the place of his location (he has not been living in Ukraine for last 5 years, while he wrote he lives in Kiev, because he has a flat there). Though he would have been accused of dishonesty as well, if he had written he lives in the US as a political refugee. Though for the Socialist Party it would be even better, if the court refuses registration to Melnichenko. Therefore, the party is able to overcome the four-percent barrier and to get its faction in the new Supreme Rada. Though if Nikolai Melnichenko is included in the party’s list, the Central Election Committee will do its best to leave Moroz’ party overboard. Everybody understands now: deputy immunity could allow to Melnichenko to achieve Kuchma’s replacement. That was the reason, why yesterday a report appeared about Ukrainian Public Prosecutor General Potebenko addressing to the US with the request to extradite Melnichenko. While if he himself wants to come to Ukraine, he will be threatened with prison cell. The Public Prosecutor General also does not want him to meet with the investigators on US territory. But there is not agreement about extradition between Ukraine and the US. So for what reasons are these requests?
Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/02/06/36708.html