CANADEM

CANADEM

October 18, 2012 08:01 ET

Mission Canada Documents Irregularities and Violations in Ukraine's Pre-election Period

KYIV, UKRAINE--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 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.

These are the main findings in the second interim report released 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 since early September. They will be joined by 365 short-term observers who will arrive in Ottawa on Thursday, October 19 and deploy to Ukraine 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.

"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.

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 On September 25, the legislation was rescinded by its author and in early October - after widespread protests from journalists, media owners and rights activists - it was withdrawn.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.

Interim reports are available at www.canademmissions.ca/ukraine.

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