OSCE observers begin their mission in Ukraine
24.11.2009 source: www.osce.org
The Election Observation Mission will look at the entire election process in terms of its compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation
Presidential elections have been set for 17 January 2010. The OSCE/ODIHR has again been invited by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to observe them. To determine the appropriate format of activity, ODIHR sent a needs assessment mission (NAM) from 21 to 24 September 2009. The NAM assessed the pre-electoral situation on the ground and recommended the deployment of a standard election observation mission (EOM). Long-term Observation Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini from Switzerland will head this EOM, which will begin its work on 24 November. The EOM consists of 16 international experts from 14 OSCE participating States, based in Kyiv. They are tasked with examining various facets of the electoral process, including the legal framework, the work of the election administration, the registration of candidates, the role of the media, the conduct of the campaign and the resolution of election-related complaints. In addition, 60 long-term observers (LTOs), seconded directly by OSCE participating States, are expected to arrive by 29 November. They will be deployed in teams of two throughout the country to assess such issues at the regional level. The EOM will look at the entire election process in terms of its compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation. Short-term Observation ODIHR has also requested 600 short-term observers (STOs) from OSCE participating States for election day. STO teams of two will be deployed throughout Ukraine to monitor the opening of polling stations, voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results at all levels. The EOM will issue a statement of its preliminary findings and conclusions the day after the election. A final report, which will include observations on the entire electoral process, will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the EOM. Previous Elections ODIHR has observed a number of elections in Ukraine, including: - 1998 parliamentary elections, - 1999 presidential election, - 2002 parliamentary elections, - 2004 presidential election, - 2006 and 2007 parliamentary elections. ODIHR, together with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, has also issued a joint opinion on the "Law on Amending Some Legislative Acts on the Election of the President of Ukraine."