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19 June, 2013 13:00   ▪  

Parliamentary elections in Ukraine were marred by large-scale abuse of administrative resources, says Freedom House

Ukraine is one out of 17 nations in transit along with Belarus, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania and Russia whose democracy score in 2013 declined, says the report of Freedom House “Nations in Transit 2013: Authoritarian Aggression and the Pressures of Austerity.”

Freedom House underlined massive electoral abuses during last parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

“Parliamentary elections in Ukraine were marred by large-scale abuse of administrative resources, opaque campaign finances, and bribery. Over 400 candidates were rejected ahead of the vote, half of them on the basis of minor technical infractions.”

“Growing authoritarianism in Ukraine has yet to result in explicit targeting of NGOs or new restrictions on public assembly. However, extensive NGO monitoring of parliamentary elections in October did not prevent the rampant abuse of administrative resources, nontransparent campaign financing, and biased media coverage in favor of the ruling Party of Regions. After the party nevertheless failed to secure the supermajority needed to pass constitutional amendments, President Viktor Yanukovych pushed through a controversial law allowing constitutional amendments via referendum. Two of the government’s most outspoken opponents, former prime minister Yuliya Tymoshenko and former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko, remained behind bars at year’s end following a series of politically motivated prosecutions. Lutsenko was pardoned in April 2013 following appeals by numerous international officials,” states the report.

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