Yanukovych Just Couldn't Stand It
It seems that Ukrainian Premier and presidential candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, couldn't stand the fact that Viktor Yushchenko, the democrats choice for the next Ukrainian president, pulled a crowd of over 70,000 to Kyiv on the day he announced his candidacy.
According to Zerkalo Tyzhnya, last Wednesday evening, the ruling clans organized a meeting of 100,000 in Kharkiv supporting the candidacy of Mr. Yanukovych. As expected, it seems that Administrative Resources (well known by the democratic opposition in Ukraine as ADMINRESURSE) were used to put on this grand show of support. Students and their professors were brought back from their summer holidays. Businesses made it very clear to their workers that they needed to be there. If you work in a government financial institution - clearly you had to be there. In other words, same old, same old in the post-Soviet world.
In fact, Serhiy Tyhypko, Yanukovych's campaign manager, did admit that some event organizers might have been a bit too enthusiastic. He also said that such pressure on voters may ensure just the opposite effect than the one intended.
This is their modus operandi: deliberately exert pressure on voters then say "Ooops! Didn't mean it."
"Це буде дуже зле, на мій погляд, бо ми отримуємо протилежний ефект: приходить харків'янин, який у цей час хотів би лежати на дивані, а його тут запрошують на площу. Якщо ще, не дай Боже, буде дощ, ось це буде катастрофа повна».
If the election campaigning process was genuinely transparent, fair and by the books, the "overly enthusiastic campaign workers' would be punished by the campaign. And, inasmuch as the use of Adminresurse is illegal, they would be held accountable before the law.