Russian Lawmaker Says Activists Warn of Presidential Election Fraud in Ukraine

© Sputnik / Stringer / Go to the photo bankPresidential election campaign 2019 in Ukraine
Presidential election campaign 2019 in Ukraine - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Leonid Slutsky, the chair of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee, cited unnamed civic activists on Saturday who warned of plots to rig the election in Ukraine.

"I am concerned about the situation in Ukraine, which will hold an election on Sunday. Today is a day of campaign silence, but our colleagues – rights activists and experts – have alarmed us with information on plots of ballot stuffing and manipulations involving voters’ personal details", Slutsky wrote on Telegram.

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Journalist. (File) - Sputnik International
OSCE Urges Ukraine to Abstain From Detaining Foreign Journalists
He added that millions of Ukrainians living in Russia and the conflict-hit eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk would not be able to cast ballots. Slutsky pointed out that the OSCE, a regional bloc, has confirmed that barring Russian observers from doing their duty in Ukraine is an electoral violation.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Moscow abandoned its intention to send observers to the Ukrainian presidential election within the OSCE mission so as to not subject them to the threat of persecution. The decision came after Kiev refused to accredit 24 Russian citizens as members of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) mission monitoring the presidential election in Ukraine. Ukraine has also barred the Commonwealth of Independent States mission from monitoring their election.

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Ukrainians will go to the polls Sunday to elect a new president. Incumbent Petro Poroshenko will be fending off 38 challengers.

The current leader is running neck-and-neck with ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, while comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is leading the race as the current favorite. A runoff is expected on April 21 if nobody wins a simple majority.

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