In accordance with the Ukrainian law “On the Elections of the President of Ukraine,” the elections for the President of Ukraine took place on March 31.
In 14 electoral districts in the Kharkiv region, voter turnout amounted to 64.49 percent. The number of voters in the region is approximately 1.305 million residents. This time, the voters turn out was considerably higher than during the previous presidential elections in 2014.
According to the voting results in the Kharkiv region, comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is currently in the lead having received 36.37 percent of the votes. Yurii Boiko, the candidate from Opposition platform For Life, ranks second with 26 percent. Current president Petro Poroshenko finished third with 8.56 percent of the votes. Zelenskiy is leading in 13 electoral districts of the region.
Kharkiv National Police stated that 185 violations were detected in the Kharkiv region during the elections. The regional coordinator of the elections’ observation of Opora Civil Network Mykola Zinchenko states they weren’t serious or systemic.
Among the violations, observers identified the presence of unidentified persons at the polling station who were not allowed to be there. Also, campaigning took place on polling day. For example, in the town of Izum, the Kharkiv region, on March 31, a local resident placed a banner for the presidential candidate Ruslan Koshulinsky on the fence of his outer perimeter. What is more, a poster of Petro Poroshenko’s party was seen in the window of the party’s office. Among other violations which were rectified were shortages of presidential ballot papers, taking photos of ballots and inaccuracy in voter registry when people could not find their names in the voter lists, while those who passed away long ago were included in the lists.
Some curious incidents also occurred on polling day. A black cat wandered to one of the voting stations while a man in a Batman costume was observed on another polling station.
According to the Central Electoral Commission with more than 95 percent of ballot boxes opened, Volodymyr Zelenskiy is leading with 30.24 percent of votes. Current president Petro Poroshenko ranks second with 15.94 percent and Yulia Timoshenko, the head of all-Ukrainian union Batkivshchina, finished third with 13.39 percent.
The final results of the first round of elections must be announced before April 10. The second round will take place on Sunday, April 21, and before May 1, the Central Electoral Commission will declare the new President of Ukraine.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: lenta.kharkiv.ua, 057.ua, vgorode