On 23 September, a member of oblast council was detained in Kirovohrad oblast. He is a candidate for the mayor of Svitlovodsk, and a suspect in bribery of a namesake candidate with UAH 10 thousand.

According to the press service of the MDNP in Kirovohrad oblast, a current member of Kirovohrad Oblast Council together with his assistant organized a scheme to drag votes to a "fake" candidate. This technical candidate was offered a bribe for registering in the election, aimed to cut votes for a competitor with the same last name. The councilor has asked his assistant to give the bribe. We are now working on handing the detainees a notice of suspicion of committing a crime under Article 160(4)of the Criminal Сode of Ukraine (bribery of a voter, a referendum participant).

Photo by the press service of the MDNP in Kirovohrad oblast

According to OPORA's observers, the detained councilor is Konstantyn Kasprov, Kirovohrad Oblast Council member from the Opposition Platform - For Life faction. On 20 September, he was registered by the Svitlovodsk City TEC as independent candidate for mayoral position.

"The namesake candidate Andrii Vitaliiovych Malitskyi was in question. The TEC has already registered him as a mayoral candidate. After all, the current City Council member Andrii Malytskyi will be probably nominated by the Servant of the People political party. In the previous election to the City Council, Andrii Malytskyi was nominated by the Civic Movement “Narodnyi Kontrol” party," OPORA's observers said.

However, we haven't managed to receive a comment from the Opposition Platform - For Life.

"It's the first detention for candidate bribing. Had Ruslan Kniazevych not knocked off the amendment to the Criminal Code on liability for the sale, both parties would be detained. As a result, only those who provide money for the change of name and spoilers in the election are brought to liability,"- Head of the Board at Civil Network OPORA Olha Aivazovska wrote on social networks.

OPORA has already mentioned, that Member of Kirovohrad Oblast Council Kostiantyn Kasprov (Opposition Platform - For Life faction) informed about inscriptions on the car and fake grenade on car doors.

We would like to remind that Uman City TEC has registered two full namesakes of the current mayor as mayoral candidates.

According to Article 160(4) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, actions provided for in Part Two or Three of this Article, committed repeatedly or in prior conspiracy by a group of persons or a member of an election or referendum commission, a member of a referendum initiative group, a candidate or his/her proxy, by another person on behalf of a candidate or political party that nominated him, an authorized person of a political party, a representative of a political party in the election commission, an authorized person of the subject of the all-Ukrainian referendum, or an official observer - shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of five to seven years with deprivation of the right to hold the certain positions or engage in the certain activities for five years.

For comment, please contact:

Zoia Lebid, Election Observation Coordinator at Civil Network OPORA in Kirovohrad Oblast

tel.: 0957943072

email: [email protected]

Reference: OPORA's observation is aimed to provide impartial assessment of election administration and process, facilitate free and fair election, and prevent violations. Civil Network OPORA has been realizing a wide-scale observation of regular local elections, to be held on October 25. We have deployed 188 observers nationwide, and short-term observers will join them on the Election Day. OPORA also monitors the use of budget resources for indirect campaigning, and civic ombudsmen inspect polling premises in terms of accessibility, as well as protect voting rights of citizens.

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