On 28 October, at the DEC No.170, candidate for People's Deputy of the SPU Anatolii Sereda informed that his agent Mykola Tovstiak had been beaten. According to him, the incident occurred next to Kharkiv School No.64, where polling station No.631441 was situated on the election day.

When taking to the OPORA observer, Anatolii Sereda said that his agent was monitoring the voting process at school No.64. When leaving the building, according to the candidate for People's Deputy, three unknown persons with shaved heads beat up Mykola Tovstiak having broken his arm. In addition to physical abuse, according to the statement of Anatolii Sereda, financial damage has been also caused — registration plates were removed from the agent's car by the same unknown persons.

On 28 October, Head of the district commission 170 Oleh Bondarenko told the OPORA observer that Head of PEC No.631441 informed by phone that Mykola Tovstiak tried to break the seal of the ballot box. A police officer was called during his acts, who took the agent out of the premises of the station.

Also, Oleh Bondarenko added that no complaint was submitted to the DEC by the candidate for People's Deputy Anatolii Sereda. The purpose of the candidate's visit of 28 October is unknown to both Head and Secretary of the DEC No.170, they say.

The story continued on 30 October. At the meeting of the district commission of the ED no.170, around 5pm, Mykola Tovstiak — the agent of the candidate for People's Deputy of the Socialist Party of Ukraine Anatolii Sereda —appeared. The OPORA observer saw himself that both hands of Mykola Tovstiak were unhurt. Haematomas couldn't have been seen behind dark glasses, which the agent refused to take off. The OPORA observer also didn't notice any injuries on the face of Mykola Tovstiak.

At the meeting, Mykola Tovstiak loudly told everyone that on 28 October, near Kharkiv School No.64, he was first hit with a left foot in his face. So he was knocked down on the ground. Afterwards, according to the agent, beating and kicking continued.

As for the incident with seals at the station No.631441, Mykola Tovstiak told that when he leaned closer to the box to check the integrity of the seals members of the PEC started shouting that the seals were being broken and the electoral process was being interrupted. Because of it, according to Mykola Tovstiak, he was removed from the station.

Right at the meeting, Mykola Tovstiak submitted a statement to the DEC. The wrong district, as the OPORA observer found out, was written in it — it was written 173 instead of ED 170. When this was pointed out to the agent, he simply corrected the number with a pen.

On 31 October, the agent of the candidate for People's Deputy of the Social Party of Ukraine Anatolii Sereda — Mykola Tovstiak — appeared in the meeting room of the DEC of the ED No.170 again. Among the questions he asked was also a question who would take copies of the protocols, and if he as an agent was entitled to take them. When a representative of OPORA said that he intended to sign the first copy of protocols and take their copies, Mykola Tovstiak stated he would appeal against such actions. However, he left the meeting room of the DEC of the ED No.170 having not waited for the protocols to be signed and those who wanted and were entitled to receive their copies.



For comment, please contact:
Viktoriia Shevchuk,
Election Programmes Coordinator of the Civil Network OPORA
in Kharkiv Oblast
067 177 26 55
066 047 07 72
Civic monitoring conducted by OPORA - is a type of network activity, aimed at impartial assessment of the preparation and conduct of elections, as well as preventing violations through comprehensive civic action. Professional monitoring at all stages of the election process indirectly influences the quality of the campaign. The public opinion, both foreign and domestic is formed through gathering and spreading of information among the target audience.  From a strategic perspective public monitoring of elections focuses upon improving the system and certain procedures.