Many violations observed during Crimea`s ‘referendum’
Astana, Kazakhstan, March 18
By Daniyar Mukhtarov - Trend:
Many violations have been observed during the 'referendum' in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Chargé d'Affaires of Ukraine in Kazakhstan Yuri Lazebnik said on March 18.
"There were many irregularities in the so-called 'referendum' such as failure to comply with the rule of 'day of silence' on the eve of the vote, woeful inaccurate lists of residents of Crimea AR, massive voting in the areas of another state's citizens, voting in psychiatric hospitals. Thus, according to the illegally created commission on the 'referendum', 123 percent of Sevastopol residents voted," Lazebnik said at the briefing in Astana.
He recalled that the international community opposed the 'referendum' and stood for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. This position was also confirmed on March 17.
"Organisers of the 'referendum' have repeatedly claimed violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population of Crimea AR. Herewith, no evidence of such violations have been revealed. Meanwhile, according to the UN and OSCE which are the authoritative international human rights organisations, the rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars have been massively violated across the territory of the autonomous republic," the diplomat said.
Another peculiar issue are the so-called observers in the 'referendum' according to Lazebnik.
"As it turned out neither of the previously named respected international organisations sent observers. This was particularly stated by OSCE. Simultaneously, this organisation intends to send large mission of its observers to presidential elections in Ukraine, scheduled for May 25 this year. The European Union said that citizens of EU member states residing in the Crimea AR allegedly as 'observers' had no mandate to conduct such observation," he said.
The vast majority of residents of Crimea, 96 percent, voted to withdraw from Ukraine and join Russia, in a referendum held March 16.
With the exception of Russia, most countries refused to recognise the referendum and its results.
A change of power took place in Ukraine on Feb.22.
The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from the power, changed the constitution and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.
Yanukovych said he was forced to leave Ukraine under threat of violence and he remains the legally elected head of state. A number of provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as the Crimea did not recognise the legitimacy of the Rada and decided on the possibility of holding a referendum over the future fate of the regions.
Translated by S.I.
Edited by S.M.