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Issues reported ahead of Ukrainian vote

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Foreign election monitors in Ukraine said they've observed campaign violations roughly two weeks before parliamentary elections are scheduled.

Anna Szyptur, a coordinator for the Canadian observer mission in Ukraine, told reporters there was evidence of bribery and other irregularities observed ahead of the Oct. 28 contest.

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"Canada's mission remains concerned about drawbacks in the administration of elections, improper access to balanced and reliable information in the media, the ineffective consideration of complaints and the absence of changes in the issue of accountability for the violation of election procedures," she was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Authorities in Kiev, however, maintained that polling stations were equipped with lock boxes and other devices to prevent any tampering on election day, Interfax added. Monitors from all parties taking part in the contest, as well as international groups, will be present at voting stations, officials said.

Delegates from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe launched a voter-awareness campaign in Ukraine last month.

"Informing voters about their rights and the election process in a timely manner is an important precondition for holding democratic elections," said Madina Jarbussynova, the OSCE project coordinator in Ukraine, in a recent statement.

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