BRAMA, Nov 4, 2004, 4:00 pm ET
PORA gives symbolic election ballots a tumble in a large-load laundry machine
Kyiv, November 4, 2004 - In another of a series of theatrical protests by civic group PORA, activists "laundered" what they said were the sullied results of the first round in the race for president of Ukraine. Their slogan "We will protect our choice!" ("Захистимо свій вибір!") warns against rigging the election results.
"Ballots" are dropped into the laundry "box".
Using a washing machine large enough to fit a person for the main prop, PORA set its stage near the headquarters of the Central Electoral Commissions (CEC). Participants conducted a parody of what they say occured to some of the voter ballots on October 30 - they went in marked for one or another candidate but came out (after the rinse cycle) as votes for only one.
The symbolic act represented the work done by the CEC and what PORA calls the process of cleaning up people's so-called "mistakes" in voting for the "wrong" candidate.
PORA's goal in staging such media events is to draw the public's attention to the possibilities for electoral fraud. Angered by what it believes are the unfair and inaccurate results from last Sunday's election, the civic group charges the CEC with deliberately falsifying records for the purpose of benefitting the administration's preferred candidate.