Ukrainian winter election no match for Canadian observers
January 15, 2010
Kyiv, Ukraine – With all the teams deployed throughout the country, a conference call was held late on Friday between the team leaders and the mission's head office in Kyiv.
“All observers reported back from the field that there is very substantial preparation and readiness for the election process,” said Lubomyr Markevych, the mission's chief observer.
Neither winter weather conditions, nor significant administrative impediments were reported at this early stage. Friday was the day electoral ballots were transferred to the polling stations for safe storage. No major irregularities were noted by the Canadian observers during this process.
The volunteer observes will be back in the field on Saturday. Friday was last day campaign advertising was allowed, so observers will spend part of Saturday looking to see whether that norm will be enforced.
“The team leaders and observers have been putting thirteen hour days going to polling stations and territorial commissions,” said head of the mission Hania Szyptur. “They visited both rural and urban polling stations, sometimes traveling for hours along icy, bumpy roads to ensure they have a fair representation of all the environments where the commissions are operating.”
The observers gauged the state of readiness for Sunday's election, including voter lists that are, for the first time in Ukraine's electoral history, based on a national voter registry.
Team Kirovohrad departs from Kyiv (left to right): David Soares (Montreal/Lviv); Stefan Hlouschko (Toronto); Jason Sokolowsky (Calgary): Ivan Lapczak (Toronto); Darcy Gulka (Edmonton); Mykola Sawchenko (Sherwood Park); Team Leader Natalia Toroshenko (Vegreville); Lorraine Goldring (Edmonton)
Chief observer Lubomyr Markevych and Mission Head Hania Szyptur in Kyiv during Friday’s conference call with the Canadian volunteer observers.
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