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UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL QUESTIONS COMPLAINTS ABOUT MAYORAL ELECTION... Prosecutor-General Hennadiy Vasylyev told the Verkhovna Rada on 12 May that the polling-station protocols of the disputed mayoral election in Mukacheve on 18 April submitted to investigators by the Our Ukraine bloc are "unreliable," the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www2.pravda.com.ua) reported. Our Ukraine claims that, according to the polling-station protocols, its candidate Viktor Baloha won the election with 19,385 votes, while rival Ernest Nuser, who was supported by the presidential administration, garnered 13,895 votes (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 28 April 2004). Vasylyev said the investigation found that the final protocol attesting Nuser's victory was unreservedly signed by all members of the local election commission, who represented different political parties. Vasylyev also said five criminal cases have been opened in connection with violations of public order and the theft of ballots during the Mukacheve election. JM
...AS SECRETS SERVICE SAYS BOTH RIVALS USED 'SUPPORT GROUPS'... Security Service (SBU) Deputy Chairman Ihor Dryzhchanyy told the Verkhovna Rada on 12 May that both Nuser and Baloha had organized "support groups" in Mukacheve on 18 April, UNIAN reported. According to Dryzhchanyy, Nuser's "supporters" organized the arrival of some 200 persons from Transcarpathian, Lviv, Vinnytsya, and Zaporizhzhya oblasts, who were lodged "in a private area" of town as well as provided with "means of communication and transport." On the other hand, Dryzhchanyy added, Baloha's supporters also gathered a group of people at a "sports center" in order to use them for "rendering physical support to Our Ukraine representatives" in Mukacheve. Additionally, Dryzhchanyy said, some 200 persons from Ukrainian nationalist organizations arrived in Mukacheve to render direct support to Baloha. The SBU is currently investigating whether individuals from these groups were involved in illegal activities on election day in Mukacheve, Dryzhchanyy said. JM
...AND LAWMAKERS WANT DISMISSAL OF REGIONAL GOVERNOR. The Verkhovna Rada on 12 May passed a resolution calling on President Leonid Kuchma to fire Transcarpathian Oblast Governor Ivan Rizak in connection with the tumultuous Mukacheve mayoral election that the opposition Our Ukraine bloc believes was falsified by local authorities, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website (http://www2.pravda.com.ua) reported, The resolution was supported by 238 lawmakers from Our Ukraine, the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, and the Center caucus as well as 17 legislators from pro-government factions and 10 independent deputies. The resolution also calls on the interior minister to fire the Transcarpathian Oblast police chief and his deputy. Moreover, the resolution appeals to Prosecutor-General Vasylyev to file a protest against the Mukacheve election commission's decision giving the election victory to Nuser and to open criminal proceedings against those guilty of rigging the election and beating lawmakers in Mukacheve on election day. JM