Big news days in Odessa, Ukraine!
Later today there will be both official and non-official actions to contest yesterday’s municipal elections.
Long Live the New Mayor, Same as the Old Mayor!
The incumbent, Gennadiy Trukhanov, won re-election handily. An old Party of Regions politician, Trukhanov was first elected to the Mayoral post on 25 May, 2014. In yesterday’s election, he was able to keep hold of his post, much to the dismay of Odessa Governor Saakashvili and his Gruzian camarilla.
The Municipal Election Commitee, after the votes were counted, made this determination behind closed doors. First having locked the doors, against possible police incursions led by a very unhappy Giorgy Lortkipanidze.
Who is Giorgy Lortkipanidze , you may ask? Aside from having a marvelous last name? A few months back, this man was appointed Chief of Police in Odessa, by his old friend and mentor, Mikheil Saakashvili. Prior to that Lortkipanidze was forced to flee Gruzia under a fake passport. Suffice it to say, that Lortkipanidze is a man you don’t want to mess around with, and who is determined to overturn the results of yesterday’s elections.
Results of Mayoral Vote
The number of eligible voters in Odessa receiving ballots was 267,058.
Of those who voted, the candidate Alexander Borovik received 66,482 votes, or 24.89%. He lost. Apparently, the Saakashvili forces had placed their hopes in Borovik, hence they were disappointed in the results.
Sasha Borovik was running against the incumbent, Trukhanov, who received 138,865 votes, or 51.99%.
The math is simple: Trukhanov received twice as many votes as Borovik.
But the emotions are not so simple. According to the “Dumskaya” piece linked above, within minutes of posting the results, their web-site was crashed. As was the live video-stream of the election coverage. There was also news of city militias blocking polling places and the offices of the election commission.
Simultaneously, Governor Saakashvili and Losing Candidate Sasha Borovik wasted no time in summoning their followers out into the streets. To protest the results of the vote and organize a new “Maidan”. Their demand is that the vote was unfair, and should be put aside.
Simultaneously with this, they, and other losing parties, are also planning a legal appeal. For either a recount, or a re-do of the election.