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Fake referendum in Donbas: Witnesses' recollections

Fake referendum in Donbas: Witnesses' recollections

Journalists say that the turnout at the so-called “L-DPR” referendum held on May 11, 2014 was exaggerated and its results were falsified. The number of polling stations was not sufficient; in some towns people voted outside, in the street, which is inadmissible.

Journalists of “Donbas Public TV” in “Donetsk Dialogue” program interviewed witnesses of the events.

“It was a theater performance. A lot of people did not understand the essence of the event. Nobody checked the age, papers or citizenship. The organizers wanted the result — the picture” says Yevheniya, an IDP from Donetsk.

“There were cases when people were not registered in the list of voters compiled in advance. There were cases when people voted several times at different polling stations”, says Yelizaveta Rekhtman, analyst of Donetsk regional organization “Ukrainian Voters' Committee”.

“I'm a native of Makiivka and I don't support the militants who seized my town. My friends and I decided to see what the fake referendum was like, so we went to the referendum, however, without any papers. I visited 5 polling stations, and everywhere I was given the chance to vote. This fake referendum does not reflect the real mood in my town. More than that, the polling stations were arranged at strange places, without observers. At one polling station there was a drunken kern decorated with St George ribbons and a machine gun. He asked people to vote”, the resident of Makiivka informs.

“The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has worked out the code for holding elections and referenda. They should not be something imposed from the outside. They are patterns of efficient and democratic procedures. According to Ukrainian legislation, the referendum was illegal”, Yelizaveta says.

The election process consists of three components: principles and standards, election system, and voting procedure. If election process principles and standards are not observed, it is senseless to speak about the election procedure. It is not election; it is not referendum; it is fake”, comments Serhiy Trachenko, executive director of the Donetsk regional “Ukrainian Voters Committee”. 

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