KIEV, Oct. 1 – President Viktor Yushchenko on Monday expressed concern over unexpected delays with vote counting in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, underscoring fears that vote rigging might have been taking place in those areas.
Yushchenko ordered law enforcement agencies to immediately step in to ensure an honest vote counting in the regions, which are dominated by supporters of the Regions Party.
“I’m concerned over the vote counting delays in eastern and southern regions, including in Donetsk, Luhansk, Odessa and Crimea,” Yushchenko said in a statement. “This process has a sign of intentional delays.”
Yushchenko demanded an explanation from the Central Election Commission and also ordered the law enforcement agencies to immediately start investigation into the delays.
On Sunday a number of polling stations, mostly in Donetsk, Luhansk and other regions with heavy support for the Regions Party, refused to provide figures reporting turnouts.
At the same time, many stations in the region slowed down vote counting delaying the transmission of local tallies to district election commissions. This has delayed the transmission of tallies to the Central Election Commission.
“What happened is a complete mess,” Ihor Popov, the head of the Committee for Ukrainian Voters, an election watchdog, said. “The tallies are being massively clarified.”