Sonia Koshkina, in an LB.ua article, draws many parallels between the up-coming Ukrainian parliamentary elections, and those which took place in 2002, including the introduction of hollow-shell 'pseudo-parties' controlled by top oligarchs.
She notes that the current ruling party will not gain political momentum for several reasons: drought, particularly in the densely populated southern and eastern regions has hit agricultural yields hard, resulting in severe financial hardship for farmers. Prices of staple foods will soon inevitably rise steeply and food shortages may even occur, despite national broadcasters continuing to talk blindly only of 'economic improvements'. There are major doubts whether the current authorities can prevent further major slippage in the value of the hryvnya. Some experts say devaluation is unavoidable.
Faced with such uncertainty major electoral fraud by the authorities is becoming ever-more likely.
The last independent television station in Ukraine, TVi has been dropped by major cable tv providers from their base packages. All other stations are already controlled by the government, or are connected to those within the government.
TVi's editor in chief Vitaliy Portnikov claims this indicates the authorities are preparing for massive fraud , hence the decision made at highest level to destroy his channel before the parliamentary elections. Independent news media websites may also be targeted, he claims.
"I'm quite sure we are talking of a rebellious group headed by Yanukovych, which today has seized power. Its aim is to try to falsify all information, particulary about the progress, and the results of the parliamentary elections. This is in preparation by the Party of Regions and the government to systematically falsify the elections and subsequently seize total power in the country with a complete restriction of civil rights and liberties immediately after October 29 [election day].
An ominous prediction from a normally level-headed, experienced journalist....
Some say the greatest electoral frauds will be seen in the single-majority constituencies.There will be great competition there because the interests of many local candidates will be at stake. Leaders of local elites or their representatives wil be fighting for parliamentary seats from which they can lobby their own causes in central government. As a result their vote in the parliament will be easily bought. Candidates offering voters presents, food parcels etc. are already being regularly documented.