Authorities Not Ready To Hold Local Elections Amid Coronavirus Epidemic

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The Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU) states that the Ukrainian authorities are not ready to hold local elections on October 25 amid the coronavirus epidemic.

CVU director general Oleksii Koshel announced this at a press conference on Wednesday, Ukrainian News Agency reports.

“Unfortunately, today we have every reason to state that the Ukrainian government is not ready to hold elections in the context of the coronavirus,” he said.

According to the organization’s experts, the authorities are not ready for either a soft or a tough scenario for organizing elections in an epidemic.

Koshel noted that there are about 33,400 polling stations in Ukraine, where hundreds of people will work.

Thus, each polling station needs to be provided with tons of liters of disinfectants, and each member of the commission – with protective masks, which need to be changed every few hours (about 1 million protective masks).

Besides, the protection of commission members at polling stations in medical institutions or at polling stations where citizens who are under observation or sick with coronavirus infection will vote require serious preparation.

“As a result, the amount required additionally from the state budget can be measured in hundreds of millions of hryvnias, but now it’s even too late, but we urgently need to react and take a set of actions,” stressed the director of the CVU.

According to Koshel, Deputy Minister of Health – Senior Medical Officer Viktor Liashko, together with the Ministry of Health, should develop recommendations for the Central Election Commission (CEC) regarding the conduct of elections in an epidemic.

The CEC, in turn, must carry out the necessary calculations, and the Verkhovna Rada must make the necessary amendments to the state budget.

CVU also calls on political parties not to nominate older people for the positions of members of precinct and district election commissions, since in conditions of coronavirus infection, this group of people is at high risk.

As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, the Verkhovna Rada has scheduled local elections for October 25.

© 2020 UNA

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