Mission Canada Documents Irregularities and Violations in Pre-Election Period

Oct 17th, 2012 | By | Category: Canada, Election 2012, Ukraine

Second Interim Report Presents Findings From Observers in All Regions of Ukraine

KYIV, October 16, 2012 – The pre-election period leading up to Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on October 28 has been marked by misuse of administrative resources, procedural irregularities, and concerns related to the election dispute resolution process, reports of vote-buying in many regions and the use of misinformation.

For the French version of the Press Release, please click here

To download the pdf English version of the Interim Report, please click here

To download the pdf Ukrainian version of the Interim Report, please click here

These are the main findings in the second interim report released today by Mission Canada – Ukraine Election 2012, an international election observation mission. The team of sixty-five long term observers has been deployed in all regions of Ukraine and will be joined by 365 short-term observers on October 20. Mission Canada represents the Canadian Government’s largest-ever deployment of election observers and is funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by CANADEM, a non-government organization.

The new Ukrainian parliament will consist of 450 members that will be elected for a five-year term under a mixed electoral system (50% proportionally from party lists, 50% from single mandate districts). Over 36 million citizens are registered to vote.

“Mission Canada continues to be concerned about flaws in the administration of the elections – particularly vote buying, lack of access to balanced and accurate information in the media, ineffective adjudication of complaints and lack of progress in prosecution of electoral offences” said Ann Szyptur, Mission Canada LTO Coordinator.

Observers have noted the following issues over the last six weeks:

• A lack of transparency, irregularities, inconsistencies and violations in the election administration at the district and precinct levels.

• The misuse of administrative resources continues to have a negative impact on the fairness of the election process and creates the impression of an imbalanced playing field.

• Vote buying continues to be reported in many regions and is taking place in many forms – including the use of charitable funds by candidates from many parties.

• The handling of election related complaints and appeals by the election administration and judiciary does not demonstrate transparency, due process, and rule of law.

• Voters’ access to reliable and pluralistic forms sources of information is limited in the 2012 Parliamentary election campaign, hindering the ability of voters to make informed choices.

The move by Parliament to rescind proposed legislation that would have re-criminalized libel and defamation is seen as a positive development. On September 25, the legislation was withdrawn by its author and in early October – after widespread protests from journalists, media owners and rights activists – it was withdrawn.

In another positive development, State Voter Register maintenance bodies have been observed implementing new rules regarding temporary changes in voter’s addresses which make it more difficult to transport voters to different precincts. Additionally, election authorities and other organs of the state have undertaken substantive efforts to disseminate warning messages against election fraud.

The Mission Canada project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). It was organized by CANADEM, Canada’s Civilian Reserve.

For further information, contact:
Mission Canada:
Michael Bociurkiw, +380-66-467-9083 / +1-310-954-9604
Michael.Bociurkiw@canadem.ca
www.canademmissions.ca/ukraine/
Follow us on Twitter: @CANADEM_Mission

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