In response to the first interim report of the Mission Canada–Ukraine Elections 2012 electoral observation mission, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, issued the following statement:
“The Canadian election observation mission’s initial findings regarding the parliamentary election campaign under way in Ukraine are troubling," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation.
“Free and fair elections that represent the will of the Ukrainian people are still possible. It is not too late. We call on Ukrainian officials to address all irregularities in the electoral process thoroughly and as a matter of immediate priority.
“Canada stands strong as a supporter of the Ukrainian people as they seek to build a nation based on democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. We will continue to closely monitor further reporting from electoral observers on the ground as the Ukrainian parliamentary elections approach, and will continue to raise these issues with the government of Ukraine.”
The report released today outlines a range of concerns with the present campaign, including allegations of restrictions on media freedom, procedural irregularities, incidents of vote-buying and undue pressure on candidates and campaign staff.
Mission Canada–Ukraine Elections 2012 is deploying 65 long-term and 365 short-term observers to monitor the October 28 parliamentary elections in Ukraine. The project is organized by CANADEM with the financial support of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency.