Murder claim in Ukraine elections…oh, and disappearing ink
Ballot-stuffing? Fine. Mudslinging? Sure. Everyone expected that. But a claim of murder at the polling station seems a bit much even for Ukraine’s ass-backward elections.
The accusation came from Yulya Tymoshenko’s campaign chief, who called an urgent press conference today to announce that one of his staff members had been bludgeoned to death during the early hours of Sunday morning. The poor staffer, he said, had been standing guard over a safe that held the ballots in a remote village in western Ukraine. Hired goons from the camp of Yulya’s rival, Viktor Yanukovych, then stormed the polling station, bashed in his head and stole the ballots. I was at the briefing when he announced this, and nearly fell off my chair.
The claim, of course, turned out to be a lie. Local police quickly explained that the man had died of a heart attack. He was indeed a staff member for Yulya’s campaign, but his death had nothing to do with the elections. One of Yanukovych’s men later explained at his own press briefing that the poor bastard keeled over while lifting a heavy container of coal on Sunday morning. He sent his condolences to the family.
I send my condolences to Yulya’s campaign. I mean, how desperate do you have to be? How unwilling to concede defeat? Even if by some miracle she wins tonight, which she won’t, but even if she does, she’ll have to deal with this little incident through some other cover up, some other clumsy lie, which is all she seems to know.
On TV just know, Channel 5 ran a story about pens with disappearing ink, which had been found at 17 Ukrainian polling stations. This is democracy in the Eastern bloc.