OSCE official refutes Ukrainian government claims that he praised election law working group


Kyiv Post reports that Lubomir Kopaj, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, has refuted  as false and misleading the report by Interfax Ukraine on 22 March regarding his position on the withdrawal of the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute from a working group on the drafting of new Ukrainian election laws.

As reported earlier, the National Democratic Institute sent a letter to the Minister of Justice on 17 March. In it Laura Jewett, Regional Director for Europe stated that the Institute was temporarily withdrawing until such time as the Group’s work on the draft law becomes more transparent and takes into consideration different views.

Kyiv Post reports that “In an apparent bid to shore up support and legitimacy for his working group, Lavrynovych met on March 22 with Kopaj, who represents the OSCE, which has an observer role within the working group.

Soon after the meeting, Interfax-Ukraine published a news report citing Kopaj as upholding the working group’s transparency. The justice ministry’s press service followed up with a press release that cited Kopaj in similar fashion.

Speaking with the Kyiv Post late on March 23, Kopaj denied speaking with journalists or challenging the decision of NDI and IRI to quit the working group during discussions with Lavrynovych”.

Kopaj said that while meeting with Lavrynovych on March 22, he only offered support to the election working group in holding discussions as long as the process complies with European Union transparency requirements.

The full report can be read here: #ixzz1HSTQZcQZ

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