KYIV, 6 January 2010 – A total of 136 parliamentarians and staff from 32 OSCE countries are scheduled to participate in the OSCE election observation mission to Ukraine, comprising the PA and ODIHR, for the 17 January presidential election.
A second round of the presidential election will be held on 7 February, in case no candidate receives over 50 per cent of the votes in the first round.
On Sunday, 10 January, OSCE PA President Joao Soares begins his pre-election visit to Ukraine in preparation for the election. Mr. Soares, who also conducted a pre-election visit to Ukraine in November last year, will travel to Odessa and other cities outside of Kyiv, before participating in the ODIHR briefings of all OSCE observers.
President Soares has appointed six experienced election observers as heads of the regional parliamentary observation teams for the election. They are: Alcee Hastings (USA) in Kyiv, Wolfgang Grossruck (Austria) in Lviv, Tone Tingsgaard (Sweden) in Donetsk, Riccardo Migliori (Italy) in Sevastopol, Canan Kalsin (Turkey) in Kharkiv, and François-Xavier De Donnea (Belgium) in Odessa.
Mr. Soares, who will lead the Assembly’s observation mission, has also been appointed Special Co-ordinator by the OSCE Chair-in-Office. In this role, Mr. Soares will lead all OSCE short-term observers and deliver the preliminary post-election statement on behalf of the OSCE at a press conference in Kyiv on the day after the election together with the parliamentary assemblies from the Council of Europe and NATO, as well as the European Parliament.
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly started to prepare for the election in October, with substantive research being conducted by its International Secretariat in Copenhagen. The OSCE PA observed Ukraine’s presidential election in 2004 and its parliamentary elections in 2007.