01 October 2007, Kyiv - UKRAINE'S ELECTIONS OPEN AND COMPETITIVE BUT AMENDMENTS TO LAW OF SOME CONCERN [press release]
A delegation of members of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly served as part of the international election observation mission in Ukraine on 30 September. The mission concluded that the elections were conducted mostly in line with international commitments and standards for democratic elections and confirm an open and competitive environment for the conduct of election processes.
Jan Petersen, Vice-President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and head of delegation, said: "We were concerned by the problems with the voter lists, which were mainly due to the specific circumstances of this pre-term election, but I was very encouraged by the orderly and transparent processes we witnessed on election day”.
Voters had a diverse choice of candidates and parties and the fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression were respected. Election Day was calm and overall, voting and counting were conducted in an orderly and transparent manner. There were no apparent regional disparities.
While, overall, the legal framework provides a basis for the conduct of democratic elections, recent amendments to the law adopted as part of a compromise to end the political crisis impacted negatively on the electoral process. Sources of particular concern were the poor quality of voter lists, possible disenfranchisement of voters who crossed the borders after 1 August, and the lack of possibilities for absentee voting for extraordinary elections. Nevertheless, observers in all parts of Ukraine reported that many voters not on the lists were nevertheless allowed to cast their ballot.
The organizations represented in the IEOM reaffirmed their readiness to continue their support to the authorities, political parties and civil society in their efforts to improve the electoral process, in line with OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.
The IEOM’s Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions can be found here: http://www.osce.org/documents/odihr/2007/10/26823_en.pdf