Incumbent Odesa Mayor Trukhanov declared winner in Sunday mayoral election
The Odesa city elections commission has declared incumbent Mayor Hennadiy Trukhanov the winner in the mayoral elections, even though Odesa regional administration chief Mikheil Saakashvili had suggested earlier that Trukhanov and his main rival should run in the second round.
The city elections commission head announced on Tuesday evening that Trukhanov had garnered nearly 139,000 votes, or 52.9% of all those who cast their ballots in the elections, so securing his victory in the first round.
Oleksandr Borovyk (Sasha Borovyk), an adviser to the Odesa regional administration head, came in second with 66,500 votes, or 25.7% of the vote. Former Odesa Mayor Eduard Hurvits came in third, having garnered 22,500 votes, or 8.5% of the vote.
Borovyk and Saakashvili, who supported him in the campaign, stated that the elections involved irregularities and that they would not recognize these results.
The Odesa regional division of the Ukrainian Voters Committee and the OPORA civilian network said they did not record violations that could have significantly affected the election results.
It was reported earlier that Saakashvili had challenged Trukhanov, who seemed at the time to be winning in the mayoral elections in the first round, "to have it out with" Borovyk in the runoff.
Saakashvili suggested that Trukhanov might have garnered 52% of the vote through vote-rigging.
"I admit that Trukhanov could win in the second round. Moreover, he had good chances to win; after all, he is an incumbent mayor," he said.
Saakashvili also cited some irregularities that Borovyk's campaign staff had earlier blamed on the incumbent mayor. The Odesa regional administration head said he expected some reaction to the events in Odesa from law enforcement agencies and the central government, including the president.
Saakashvili also claimed that a criminal boss nicknamed Angert and believed to maintain ties with Trukhanov had come to Odesa to settle the situation surrounding the elections.
Borovyk said at a press conference that his campaign staff possessed a lot of information indicating that numerous irregularities had been committed both during the elections and during the vote counting procedures and that his lawyers would go to a court to contest the outcome.
Borovyk's campaign staff had said earlier that the candidate and his team would not recognize the election results. Borovyk said later on Facebook that Trukhanov should either agree to run in the second round or the elections would be declared invalid.
"There is going to be either a runoff, in which there will be volunteers instead of cronies in the commissions, or we'll recount and review everything starting from the first round," Borovyk said.
The Odesa territorial branch of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Solidarity party called for recounting the votes in the mayoral elections in Odesa.
Solidarity said in a statement, which parliamentarian Oleksiy Honcharenko made public on his blog on Tuesday, that the votes must be recounted "due to violations by election process participants."
"In light of the situation surrounding the outcomes of the voting in the mayoral elections in Odesa and accusations of falsifications and irregularities on the part of electoral process participants, the Odesa territorial organization of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc Solidarity party deems it necessary to recount the votes. We hope that a recount and its results would eventually relieve tensions in Odesa society," it said.
It was reported earlier that a parallel vote count undertaken by the OPORA civilian network based on a 100% of the processed ballots showed that Trukhanov had garnered 51.64% of the vote.