Election farce in Ukraine

by our European Affairs correspondent

LAST WEEKEND’S snap elections in Ukraine produced no surprises, least of all to the Anglo- American and Franco-German imperialists whose willing tools run the pro-Nato and Nazi parties that were predictably returned to the Kiev parliament on Sunday. But millions boycotted the poll denounced as fraudulent by the communists and the anti-fascist movements that control the breakaway republics of Novorossiya in the east of the country.

Nearly half the electorate stayed at home. Turnout was particularly low in Russian speaking regions. Fifteen Donbas regional districts opted out. And though around half a million ex-pats were eligible to vote in 72 countries most didn’t bother even to register.

The Ukrainian president’s personal “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” bagged 132 seats in the new parliament followed by Premier Arseny Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front which took 82. The rest went largely to smaller reactionary and nationalist platforms or neo-Nazi fronts. The beleaguered Communist Party of Ukraine lost all its seats though the Opposition Bloc, the main successor to the ousted Party of the Regions, managed to win 29 seats.

The venal gang of reactionary politicians and fascists in Kiev claim that the vote will usher in a new era of “democracy” and a “realistic European future” for Ukraine. The reality is that the election was conducted in an atmosphere of intimidation and terror.

Though the Nazis failed to make any substantial parliamentary gains, a point endlessly made by the regime’s apologists, it ignores the fact that elections are irrelevant to the real role of the fascist militias which is terrorise and intimidate the regime’s enemies.

Communist leader Peter Simonenko said the poll was held in a climate of “total intimidation” in which the Communist Party of Ukraine was branded as a supporter of “pro-Russian separatism and terrorism”.

The elections were held by Ukrainian officials who had a total monopoly over the informational environment, and used their mercenaries — ultra- Nazi radicals, nationalist, pro-fascist gangs — to prevent the opposition from taking part in the campaign, the communist leader declared.

In the liberated areas of Novorossiya the poll was dismissed as a farce. Donetsk People’s Republic deputy Premier Andrei Purgin said people were intimidated and the south-east was not represented. “We don’t care about these elections results. We are not interested in them. We have our own elections that will make the DPR authorities legitimate,” he declared.

Russia, which brokered the Minsk agreement that ended the fighting in eastern Ukraine, says it will recognise the vote despite the “harsh and dirty” campaign. Russian senator Andrey Klishas, said that the Russian parliament will cooperate with Ukrainian politicians who press for an end to the civil war and oppose the neo-Nazi state, and the arbitrariness and mass violations of human rights in Ukraine.

But he added: “Ukrainians themselves cannot fail to notice the mass violations of human rights during the latest parliamentary campaign. These were the ban on free speech, attacks on opposition candidates, mass violence in the form of the so called ‘popular gatherings,’ even lynch mobs on the side of the pro-fascist political forces.”

Russia’s communists were even more forthright. Ivan Melnikov, Duma MP and deputy leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, said the Communist Party did not recognise the Ukrainian elections which, he said, simply replaced the “orange” coalition with a “brown” one of “Nazi and Russophobic policy-makers”.

Meanwhile Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent greetings to veterans to mark the 70th anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from Nazi occupation. In his letter Putin said the most important task is countering any attempts to revive fascist ideology and to rewrite the common history of Russia and Ukraine.

He wished Ukrainian veterans good health, prosperity and good spirits and also wished peace and prosperity to all the Ukrainian people.

Last April the Russian parliament, the State Duma, approved a bill that provides up to five years in prison for denying the facts set out in the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals, the rehabilitation of Nazism, and distributing false information about the actions of the Soviet Union and its allies during the Second World War. The movers of the bill said that the push for such a law was especially evident today in times of the violent political crisis in Ukraine, launched and supported by radicals and neo-Nazis.