“The fight of the mayors” in Ukraine

PRAVDA.Ru already reported about the events in the city of Cherkassy, when one of the candidacies, running for the position of the mayor, Anatoly Voloshin, occupied the mayor’s office on April 2, and claimed that he “was starting his duties of the mayor.” The previous, and also the incumbent mayor of the city, Vladimir Oleinik, was trying to make the law-enforcement bodies pay attention to that fact, but was not that lucky. Oleinik addressed to the USA embassy and asked Americans to conduct “an anti-terrorist operation in Cherkassy.”

The city electoral committee was trying to check hundreds of complaints about the violations of the process of elections, but it could not do it, since the regional electoral committees did not present the list of voters to it. This is not surprising: there were a lot people on those lists, who had already passed away, but still “voted.” The city electoral committee announced that the elections of Cherkassy mayor were invalid, and set the new date – June 9. Such a decision was not good for Anatoly Voloshin, who appealed it at court immediately.

It should be said here that the members of the electoral committee applied to court against Voloshin’s actions too, on April 5, but their claim was not considered. However, Voloshin’s claim was considered very quickly. On April 10 the court ruled to withdraw the protocols and other documentation of the city electoral committee. The officers showed up at the committee on April 11.

Strangers broke the shop-windows of Kashtan store in the center of Cherkassy before that. The store is 50 meters far from the police building, but the hooligans were not found, of course. It just so happened that the director of the company Kashtan-Plus was Galina Oleksenko - the head of the city electoral committee. She was hospitalized on April 11, nervous breakdown was diagnosed. The court hearings on Voloshin’s case took place the same day.

The judge ordered journalists to leave the court room. This was done according to the request from Voloshin’s representatives, despite the objections from the representatives of the city electoral committee. The regional electoral committee submitted a demur, being not satisfied with the judges. The committee believed that the judges were interested in a certain outcome of the case: the wives of two judges were working for Voloshin. So the city electoral committee wanted the case to be considered at another court. The judge declined the demur against himself, claiming there was no evidence to prove his biased attitude.

Mayor Vladimir Oleinik said that those hearings were like a staged show, it was all like a fake, that the decision had been prepared long before. This decision was soon announced: the actions of the city electoral committee were considered as illegal, and its decisions were cancelled. The court commissioned the city electoral committee to announce the results of the mayor elections not later than on Friday, at 5 p.m.

Anatoly Voloshin arranged a press-conference on Friday morning. He optimistically stated to the media outlets that he was the new legitimate mayor of Cherkassy, and asked journalists to calm the citizens down. Voloshin said that he had a certain program of actions, and the citizens would notice the results in a year or two. Answering the question, what he would do if the city electoral committee did not execute the court’s decision, he said that the “court’s decision was final, the issue had been settled legally.”

Vladimir Oleinik did not agree with such an estimation, claiming the entire litigation was a fake. The representatives of the electoral committee appeared for the press in several hours. Instead of executing the court's decision, they unveiled two decisions of their own, which then became a political sensation.

Pursuant to their first decision, the committee withdrew Anatoly Voloshin’s candidacy from the elections. The reasons for that were countless violations of the elections laws. Furthermore, Voloshin’s occupation of the mayor’s office was illegal, and those actions could not come together with the status of a registered candidacy.

The second decision was about the verdict of the district court, which cancelled the decision of the committee to consider the elections invalid. The committee came to conclusion that the court did not look deep into the matter and did not find an argument to reject the facts, which were mentioned by the committee. The committee repeatedly announced the elections of Cherkassy mayor invalid and set the new date – June 16. The members of the committee also announced that they would decline their authorities.

Anatoly Voloshin addressed to the Office of the Public Prosecutor, complaining of the illegal (as he believed) actions of the committee. But there is no such a committee anymore, actually. It seems that the “fight of the mayors” is in the dead end. There is one thing clear now: none of them is going to yield, and both of them are determined to use any methods for their objectives. Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Cherkassy

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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