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Web cameras at polling stations for transparent voting in Ukraine

Пресс-конференция CIS-EMO в Интерфакс-Украина

The use of web cameras at polling stations during the parliamentary elections in Ukraine on Sunday, October 28, will ensure the transparency of the voting, according to Veronica Rouet, an election expert, who has come to Ukraine as an observer from the Commonwealth of the Independent States - Election Monitoring Organisation (CIS-EMO).

Web cameras will be used at 32,200 polling stations across the country during the elections on October 28. Any person will be able to watch the voting on the Internet. Images from the cameras will be transmitted via designated lines to the Data Processing Centre with a video archive of 2.8 petabytes, which is the equivalent of about 20 billion images posted by Facebook users.

“It’s hard to make a detailed assessment of the system now because it is going to be used for the first time. We have no system in France. Ukraine believes that such video monitoring will help to ensure greater transparency of the voting. I know that a similar system was created in Russia and helped expose violations during elections,” Rouet said.

What is important is that voters remain assured that their voting will be confidential, she added.

The head of the CIS-EMO working group of observers, Alexei Kochetkov, stressed that his colleagues and he “are not setting the task of making political statements but are interested to exchange information on electoral legislation in different countries”.

“We are here to help, not teach,” he said.

The Ukrainian Central Election Commission has accredited 3,797 international observers to monitor the elections: officials from 27 foreign embassies and 35 international organisations, 175,160 official representatives from political parties involved in the elections, 144,134 observers from candidates, and 37,572 observers from 68 Ukrainian organisations. The elections will be covered by 908 journalists from 182 mass media.

Voice of Russia, TASS

Sunday elections: and quiet goes Ukraine

Artyom Kobzev

The 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary elections will have a different procedure due to a number of constitutional changes adopted since the previous campaign.

October 27 is the Day of Silence when any campaigning is banned on the eve of the Sunday elections.

Compared to the 2007 elections, this year half of the 450 seats in the parliament will be distributed through a proportional system among parties (225 seats), and the other half among individual candidates in single-seat constituencies.

However, the Election Commission claims that the majority of violations occur in single-seat constituencies.

The elections will be monitored by 3, 797 observers from various countries and organizations. Ordinary people are also free to monitor the process, says VoR correspondent in Ukraine, Alexander Bondarenko.

"Almost all of the 34, 000 polling stations have webcams installed and Ukraine for the first time ever has a violation response system. The voting can be followed online but not the vote counting."

Ukrainian citizens overseas also have voting options. Russia has absentee polling stations in Moscow, St.Petersburg, Rostov- on- Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.

Their opening hours will be 8am-8 pm Moscow time.

Ukrainian parliamentary elections fact sheet

October 28, Ukrainian voters will head to the polls to elect a new parliament.

Half of the 450 seats in the parliament will be distributed through a proportional system among parties (225 seats), and the other half among individual candidates in single-seat constituencies.

This time, only political parties can run compared to previous years when political blocs were allowed in the race. The minimum threshold is 5%.

The elections will be closely followed by international observers, mainly the EU.

Ukraine’s relationships with the West soured and the EU almost froze ties with Ukraineafter the arrest of ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko who is now is jail for disputed gas deals with Russia and Yuriy Lutsenko - the ex-interior minister, who is also behind bars.

The EU considers the race to be a “test of maturity” for Ukraine saying that the election’s conduct and transparency will greatly affect Ukraine's future relations with the West.

According to Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, a total of 87 parties are running, 21 of them on party lists and others nominating candidates in single-seat constituencies.

There is no turnout threshold so the elections will be declared valid anyway. The ruling Party of Regions is now leading the polls. Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland and the Front for Change by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former parliament speaker, are running through a common front – United Opposition Fatherland.

The Front ranked second in the polls while Udar (Punch) led by boxing champion Vitali Klitschko was placed third. However, a month before the elections Udar moved to the second place with 17.9 of voters supporting it. Some 16.5 % go for the united opposition, 11% for the Communists and 4.7 for Svoboda (Freedom) far right party.

Natalia Korolevska and her Ukraine - Forward! used to score some 4-5% in September but slumped to 2% on the eve of the elections and will hardly make it to the parliament.

Though the opposition’s overall rating is higher than one of the Party of Regions, experts claim that the ruling party will have more seats due tosingle constituency candidates

URL: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_10_28/Web-cameras-at-polling-stations-for-transparent-voting-in-Ukraine/

Web cameras at polling stations for transparent voting in Ukraine

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