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UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL WILL NOT CHALLENGE CONTROVERSIAL MAYORAL ELECTION... Deputy Prosecutor-General Mykola Holomsha said in the Verkhovna Rada on 1 June that the Prosecutor-General's Office cannot file a formal protest against the contentious mayoral election in Mukacheve on 18 April (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 28 April 2004), the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. Mukacheve is in the Transcarpathian Oblast. Holomsha argued that such a move is beyond the office's competencies. In response to Holomsha's statement, the Our Ukraine opposition bloc demanded the dismissal of Prosecutor-General Hennadiy Vasylyev, accusing him of "cynical inactivity" in the investigation of the Mukacheve case. According to Our Ukraine, the election in Mukacheve was manipulated and falsified on a large scale. JM

...AS DECLARED WINNER RESIGNS. Ernest Nuser resigned as mayor of the town of Mukacheve on 29 May, Ukrainian media reported. "It has come to the point that, apart from [being subject to] slander and invectives, my family and I are under a permanent threat of physical liquidation," Interfax quoted Nuser as saying. Nuser was declared winner of the contentious mayoral election in Mukacheve on 18 April. "I have a different impression [as regards Nuser's resignation]," Hanne Severinsen, rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Ukraine, told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service on 31 May. "During a meeting with him [last week], it seemed to me that he is ready [to resign] because his town has become notorious in all of Europe owing to the election rigging." JM

LOCAL OFFICIAL WINS PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION IN ODESA. Anton Kisse, deputy governor of Odesa Oblast, won the by-election to the Verkhovna Rada in constituency No. 136 in Odesa on 30 May, the "Ukrayinska pravda" website reported. Kisse obtained some 10,500 votes out of nearly 35,000 cast during the ballot. Turnout did not exceed 22 percent, reportedly because of heavy rain on the voting day. Mykhaylo Brodskyy, a candidate supported by the Our Ukraine opposition bloc, was third with some 4,800 votes. The by-election was held because Serhiy Kyvalov, who was elected in 2002, gave up his mandate after being elected head of the Central Election Commission earlier this year. JM

UKRAINE TO GO IT ALONE IN WTO BID. Ukrainian presidential spokesman Vasyl Baziv told journalists on 28 May that Ukraine does not intend to coordinate the process of joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) with the three other signatories of the accord on the creation of the Single Economic Space (SES), Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, Interfax reported. "It is our position that every country has already gone its way and should now follow its own path," Baziv said. "The main thing is not to enter the WTO together or separately, but to enter it as soon as possible." JM

...AND PRESIDENT WANTS NATO ENLARGEMENT TO PROCEED. Bereuter also said on 1 June at the close of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly's spring session in Bratislava that the organization should start planning its next enlargement summit at its forthcoming June NATO summit in Istanbul, CTK reported. Bereuter added that the next enlargement summit should be held no later than 2007. He also said the next wave of expansion should include Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia. Bereuter also said the results of the October presidential election in Ukraine will greatly affect the future chances of that country becoming a member of the military alliance. Whether this happens or not will to a large extent depend on how democratic that election is, and who is the winner, he said, as well as on Ukraine's ability to implement political and military reforms. MS

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT FAILS TO ADMONISH PROSECUTOR OVER DUBIOUS BALLOT... The Verkhovna Rada on 1 June rejected a proposed resolution saying an investigation by the Prosecutor-General's Office into allegations of vote rigging in a mayoral election in Mukacheve on 18 April is unsatisfactory (see "RFE/RL Belarus and Ukraine Report," 28 April 2004), Ukrainian news agencies reported. The resolution was backed by 206 of 414 deputies present (226 votes were necessary for approval). The vote followed reports on the Mukacheve case presented by Deputy Prosecutor-General Mykola Halomsha (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 June 2004), representatives of the Interior Ministry and the Security Service, and Ukrainian Ombudswoman Nina Karpachova. JM

...AS WITNESS REVEALS DETAILS OF ALLEGED VOTE RIGGING. Ombudswoman Karpachova read a statement by policeman Mykola Zhumel, who was responsible on 19 April for guarding the room with protocols from polling-station election commissions following the mayoral election in Mukacheve on 18 April, in the Verkhovna Rada on 1 June, Ukrainian news agencies reported. Zhumel said superiors ordered him and his colleagues to leave their post at the room with protocols for two hours. After Zhumel returned, he said, he saw that the room had been burglarized. Zhumel, who was present in the session hall when Karpachova read his statement, confirmed that version of events. The Our Ukraine bloc alleges that authorities in Mukacheve substituted falsified polling-station protocols for the originals in order to award the victory to Ernest Nuser, a candidate supported by the Social Democratic Party-united (SDPU-o) led by presidential administration chief Viktor Medvedchuk. "Today, this man is defending democracy in Ukraine," Our Ukraine leader Viktor Yushchenko said of Zhumel's confession in parliament. JM

UKRAINIAN SOCIALISTS, COMMUNISTS TO CONFER ON JOINT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. The leadership of the Socialist Party and the Communist Party is planning to hold a conference to discuss the possible fielding of a joint presidential candidate in the Ukrainian presidential election scheduled for 31 October, Ukrainian news agencies reported on 1 June, quoting Socialist Party head Oleksandr Moroz. Last week, Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said he has proposed fielding a joint presidential candidate and forming a coalition for the subsequent parliamentary elections to Moroz (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 May 2004). JM

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKER JUMPS CAUCUSES UNDER ALLEGED PRESSURE. Lawmaker Mykhaylo Dobkin has left the Center group in the Verkhovna Rada and joined the SDPU-o parliamentary caucus, Interfax reported on 2 June, quoting parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. "[After Dobkin joined Center], he and his father were subjected to repression, and his father was even arrested," Our Ukraine lawmaker Volodymyr Yavorivskyy told journalists regarding Dobkin's defection. "As soon as he signed a request to join the SDPU-o faction, his father was released. Don't you see yourselves what is going on in the Verkhovna Rada?" The current structure of the Verkhovna Rada is reportedly as follows: Our Ukraine, 100 deputies; Ukraine's Regions, 63; the Communist Party, 59; the SDPU-o, 39; Democratic Initiatives-People's Power, 28; Labor Ukraine, 29; the Socialist Party, 20; the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, 10; Center, 18; the Popular Democratic Party and the Party of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists, 17; Soyuz, 17; and the Agrarian Party, 16. JM

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT LAUNCHES 'STABILITY AND SECURITY PACT' INITIATIVE. Vladimir Voronin invited foreign ambassadors in Chisinau on 1 June to sign a Stability and Security Pact for Moldova (SSPM), Infotag and Mediafax reported. Voronin said the plan should be signed by Moldova and Russia, the United States, the European Union, Romania, and Ukraine, and a meeting of the signatories' foreign ministers should be convoked for this purpose. He said the new plan would not replace the current five-sided negotiations on settling the Transdniester conflict but would facilitate a speedier conclusion of those negotiations. Voronin also said the SSPM should be anchored on five principles that all signatories would pledge to respect: Moldova's territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders; full participation of society in Moldova's democratization process; acknowledging, respecting, and promoting Moldova's ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity; Moldova's neutrality; and the settlement of the Transdniester conflict on the basis of a federal solution. MS