'Clone' candidates at Ukraine's snap parliamentary elections

Author : Yaroslav Konoshchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

The technology of candidates-clones became popular in Ukraine
08:30, 3 July 2019

Open source

The technology of candidates-clones became popular in Ukraine. In particular, as evidenced by the website of the Central Election Commission, in the electoral district #18 (Vinnytsia region), along with MP Ruslan Demchak, his almost full namesake from Ternopil region runs in the elections.

The registration of fake candidates from rating political parties became extremely popular during this election campaign. In particular, in the electoral district #25, almost the same namesake of Head of the President’s Office Andriy Bogdan - Bogdan Andriy Valeriyovych fights for the MP’s mandate.

According to the documents submitted to the Central Election Commission, Bogdan is a member of the management board of Servant of the People LLC, and five more candidates who allegedly represent the Servant of the People brand. Although, according to the decision of the Congress of the pro-presidential party, blogger Maksym Buzhansky is running as a candidate for this political force.

Related: Survey shows 'Servant of the People' and 'Opposition Platform – For Life' parties are leaders

The situation is similar in the neighboring district #26. Kyrylo Nesterenko will fight for the MP’s mandate from the pro-presidential political force, however, according to the CEC website, Dmytro Agapov from the Ze-Servant of the People private enterprise is running too.

A similar story is in another district of the Dnipropetrovsk region, in Kamianske town, where Roman Vyshnevetsky, project manager of the Servant of the People charity foundation, claims to be a chair in the parliament, although according to the party’s decision, Anna Lichman, head of the corporate communications department of the trade corporation is running in this district.

Candidates-clones, who were refused in registration, do not give up and desperately fight for a place in the Rada. Thus, the sixth Kyiv Appeals Administrative Court obliged the Central Election Commission to register as a candidate in the single-mandate constituency #70. He is the full namesake of Ukraine’s MP and member of the United Center party Baloha Ivan Ivanovych.

Related: New faces of president Zelensky's Servant of the People party

"Today, some candidates in single-mandate constituencies have fraudulently indicated the information in their statements, which were submitted to the Central Election Commission, that they allegedly work for Servant of the People charity foundation or state non-profit organization,” Oleksandr Kachura, the lawyer of Servant of the People party, stated.

According to him, there are more than a hundred such organizations. However, it is highly unlikely that effective measures can be taken three weeks before the elections.


Related: Servant of People winning majority of seats in next Parliament would be national insanity, - MP Rabinovych

These “clones” were created to steal votes from their popular counterparts. According to political scientist Ruslan Bortnyk, “clone-candidates” can be sold cheaply to a customer. Experts believe that the number of such votes might be more than usual.

“Considering summertime, there might be more than 1% –2% votes for the “clone-candidates,” Andriy Zolotariov, the head of the Third Sector center, said, adding that the candidate who runs under Servant of the People party brand might get 15% -20% as a starting bonus.


Related: Who is who in Zelensky's Servant of the People party?

The expert also recalled that, unlike political parties, candidates in single-mandate constituencies do not have numbering in their ballots. Because of this, it will be more difficult for a real candidate to explain to voters where he is and where the "clone" is.

In turn, Oleksiy Koshel, the head of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, notes that the clone-technology is almost absurd. The expert proposes to enter the numbering for the candidates and introduce responsibility for the pre-election “cloning”.

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