OSCE PA leads election observation in Ukraine

Ukraine-CompositeOSCE parliamentarians spread out across Ukraine on election day amid intense press interest in their work.

COPENHAGEN, 27 May 2014 – Former OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Joao Soares (MP, Portugal) and PA Vice-President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) led OSCE observers for the 25 May presidential election in Ukraine.

Soares, appointed by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter as Special Co-ordinator of the observation mission, led more than 1,000 short-term observers, while Kanerva served as the head of more than 100 OSCE parliamentary observers who were deployed throughout the country. The OSCE PA teams were deployed in Kyiv and surrounding areas, as well as Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk.

In addition, Soares led a team to Donetsk that included Vice-Presidents Kanerva and George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia), as well as Canadian MP Chrystia Freeland, on the eve of the election. OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver and Operations Officer Iryna Sabashuk accompanied the delegation to Donetsk city, which turned out to be the most difficult area for the election, where separatists prevented all polling stations from opening on 25 May.

OSCE PA Special Representative Ambassador Andreas Nothelle supported the PA's ten-member team in Lviv, which included Vice-Presidents Doris Barnett (MP, Germany) and Isabel Pozuelo (MP, Spain). PA staffer Francesco Pagani supported the ten-member team in Kharkiv, while Director of Presidential Administration Roberto Montella was in charge of the 12-member team in Odessa.

2014-EO-Ukraine-Albright-Kanerva-RSO-WollockAt the opening of a polling station in Kyiv, 25 May (left to right): OSCE PA Head of Delegation Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland); OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver; National Democratic Institute President Kenneth Wollack; and Chairman of NDI and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Secretary General Oliver attended the opening of a polling station in Kyiv along with Vice-President Kanerva, National Democratic Institute (NDI) Chair and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and NDI President Kenneth Wollack. Later in the day, Oliver joined the team in Dnipropetrovsk and met with the oblast's governor, Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

All teams reported positively on election day procedures and the work of the more than 100 parliamentarians deployed in the country. PA Director of Elections Andreas Baker and Operations Officer Iryna Sabashuk were responsible for the overall organization of the election observation mission and the observation teams in the Kyiv region.

Communications Director Richard Solash handled press relations and chaired the joint press conference of the OSCE PA, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, at which the agreed preliminary statement was presented the day after the election.

From Kyiv to Donetsk, OSCE parliamentarians conducted dozens of interviews for domestic and international media outlets hungry for their perspective on the election and for information on the work of the monitors. In all, OSCE parliamentarians were quoted in the national press of some 20 countries, from Ukrainian radio to Georgian television to German dailies. The work and assessments of OSCE parliamentarians were also featured in top international news outlets such as Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, BBC, The New York Times, Reuters and The Washington Post. Click here for selected press mentions.

2014-EO-UkraineElections2In Donetsk city, 24 May (left to right): PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver; Chrystia Freeland; Sergey Tkachenko, Head of Donbass Voters Association; Interpreter, PA VP George Tsereteli, PA VP Ilkka Kanerva, OSCE Special Co-ordinator Joao Soares; Portuguese Advisor Nuno Paixao.

For the post-election press release and preliminary statement, click here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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