CORRECTION - Central European Group for Political Monitoring: International Observers: We Are Happy With What We Have Seen From The Election Polls

Oct 29, 2012, 13:32 ET from Central European Group for Political Monitoring

On the 28th of October elections were held to the 7th Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada). 22 registered parties will participate in the elections. More than 3000 representatives from 87 parties will participate in single member electoral districts. In accordance with the 2011 law on the elections in Ukraine these parliamentary elections are carried out by the mixed election procedure - 225 candidates in party lists, 225 candidates in majoritarian districts. About 4000 international and 37000 national observers from public organisations are registered in the elections.

 One such international organisation "Central European political monitoring group" organised the visit of a group of observers from Europe, the USA and Israel to view election polls in the Kiev Ukrainian capital (Irpen, Vyshgorod, Bucha), Sumy (Sumy), Vinnitsa (Vinnitsa), Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Chuguev) and Oblasts. During the observation - which looked at the process of voting and talking to members of the electoral commissions and common voters - international observers agreed that the elections were carried out according to a standard process. The polls are equipped with a necessary number of polling booths and transparent ballot boxes, and web-cameras for the on-air broadcast of the process onto the Internet.

There were large numbers of people on some polling stations, and queues that impeded the process of Ukrainians expressing their will. Some candidates during the electoral campaign complained of using administrative resource and bribing the voters - these are the main complaints noticed by various groups of international observers.

These are the seventh parliamentary elections for Ukraine but there are still no concrete definitions of the notions "administrative resource" and "bribing the voters" in the law as well as criteria of how to fight them.

Anton Kutev, the deputy of the National Assembly of Bulgaria: "These elections differ from the previous ones in 2010, when I also was an international observer, by a high level of democracy - not only political parties but also particular citizens can participate through self-nomination. I believe that such practice develops democratic procedures in Ukraine."

Leon Litinetski, the deputy of the 17th Knesset: "The high level of representativeness of the political range in the Ukrainian elections is balanced out by its low political culture and loopholes in the electoral legislation that allow some candidates to offer food products and money to their voters. Unfortunately, these processes are beyond the legislative practice and such things should be taken into account."

Pedro Mourinho, the MEDIASITE agency director (Spain): "Before arriving in Kiev I carefully checked all the European information about the Ukrainian elections and came to a conclusion that during this electoral campaign all parties and candidates had equal access to mass media. It is also very good that Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted down the law on libel which could have limited the freedom of mass media. It seems to me that it significantly improved the situation with the possibility of citizens to know more about pre-election platforms of all political forces. It is very important form the point of view of European values and the European Union which Ukraine is willing to integrate into."

Dmitry Rodionov, the deputy of the Saeima of the Latvian Republic: "We liked what we have seen on the election polls. Transparent ballot boxes with web-cameras and on air broadcast of the voting process to the Internet looks quite democratic. The number of registered parties and candidates means that democratic rules act in Ukraine - one can choose. However, the political process is not at the European level. There are still things to be improved."

Richard Korzan, the executive director of media-association CSMedia (the Czech Republic): "In Ukraine we felt a strong desire of the population to develop a maximally close cooperation with Europe. It is a very positive factor that we can only welcome. Ukraine is without doubt a natural part of Europe. We also understand that has old historical ties with Russia which is long considered to be Europe's important strategic partner. The combination of these two factors gives this electoral campaign a special character."

Alessandro Musolino, the member of the committee for international affairs of the party "The People of Freedom" (Italy): "Ukraine is a young developing democracy. We saw it when we observed the elections. It seems that the Ukrainian voters have a big choice of politicians, programs and platforms. We hope that it all will become a normal basis for forming a complete parliament that will reflect the whole range of public mood."

Giuliano Godino, the former deputy of the parliament of Italy: "Before coming to Ukraine I was interested in Ukrainian pre-election realities and I noted one thing. Only during these elections "the electoral tourism" when groups of "paid" voters "move to" another district to vote for "their" candidate was finally prohibited. Before that the phenomenon was quite wide-spread. I think it is important to mention that such issues should be regulated by adopting corresponding changes into the electoral legislation. I hope that the new Ukrainian Parliament will deal with this issue. Such step will ensure more democratic and transparent elections and that will bring Ukraine closer to the criteria of the European Union."

Mark Almond, political analyst, professor (Great Britain): "Since my first visit to Ukraine the country has made a great step towards the development of the democracy. I liked the way the election process was organized especially web-cameras on the electoral polls. I believe Great Britain should take into account Ukraine's experience."

Srdja Trifkovic, editor of "Chronicles" magazine, political analyst: "Today Ukraine has shown itself to be a mature post-communist democracy. The election has passed calmly and uneventfully which is good news. From now on we can rest assured that the results of this and other elections to come in the years ahead will be accepted by all key players in the political process as accurate reflections of the will of the people."

SOURCE Central European Group for Political Monitoring