Observers find flaws with Ukraine elections, recommend electoral reforms

The Election Observation Mission (EOM) deployed experienced and trained Canadian election observers for the Presidential Elections to attempt to meet internationally accepted standards for free and fair elections. They released a report today finding flaws in the election process and made recommendations on electoral reform:

There remains an overriding concern that the institutionalization of free and fair elections requires a greater exercise of political will at the highest levels.

The EOM noted drawbacks and made several recommendations, contained in the Preliminary Observation Report presented in Kyiv on Feb. 9. The highlights include:

  • It is disappointing to find that the Central Election Commission did not register or accredit a single observer from Georgia for the Second Round, despite various attempts by the Georgian EOM to register their observers
  • If Ukraine wishes to build a strong civil society, and strong and durable democratic institutions that have the respect of the citizenry, it is very important to maintain the right of civil society organizations to monitor presidential elections as an important safeguard for the transparency of the election process
  • CUF recommends the creation of a permanent election civil service at the district and local election committee level. It is our recommendation that Ukraine reform its election laws and process and address the partisan nature of the election commissions at the national, district and local levels.
  • An additional item of electoral reform must be the financing of elections. It is commonly known that the current Presidential elections cost each side over $500 million. As recommended by some members of the European Parliament, Ukraine should bring forward a set of legislative amendments to limit the amount of spending by any candidates to a predetermined, more modest maximum level.

About the EOM:

Election Observation Mission (EOM) of the Canada Ukraine Foundation (CUF), in association with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), deployed 65 experienced and trained Canadian election observers in 6 oblasts (regionals) for the First Round of the Presidential Elections and on February 1st, CUF deployed a further 50 observers.

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