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By: Veronica Khokhlova

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Thursday, 4-Nov-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
Kyiv--"The Big Wash" Student Rally

I was afraid this rally would be as uninspiring as the one I saw in Moscow in March, on the eve of the Russian presidential election: a lot more journalists than the young protesters showed up then. But even though now, in Kyiv, there weren't too many students by the Central Election Commission building (no more than a hundred, I'd say), it was fun.

They all carried printouts of multiplication table with a slogan "Count Honestly" on them, calling on those conducting the much belated count not to cheat. (Another meaning of it is that Ukraine's prime minister - who's running for president - doesn't look like he was a good student: he spelled the word "professor" with two "f" on his bio recently, for example. Also, since it's taking so long for the remaining 2.33% of the votes to be counted, members of the Central Election Commission do not make an impression of very bright people, either. Hence, the multiplication table: a cheat sheet for the illiterate.) There was also a mock vote: a ballot box was made of a washing machine (symbolizing the Central Election Commission), and students were dropping their ballots in it, all voting for Yushchenko and writing rather mean things about Yanukovych next to his name.

This rally was organized by Pora, an NGO supporting peaceful steps to prevent falsification of the election; one of their slogans is "Let's defend our choice!"

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