PRESS RELEASE | October 25, 2014
The United States congratulates the thousands of candidates and millions of voters in Ukraine who have campaigned, debated, and shared ideas about Ukraine’s future in the run up to Sunday’s Parliamentary elections. A successful, strong, united, transparent and democratic Ukraine is critical to achieving the dream of a Europe whole, free and at peace. Ukrainians have become an example, not just in Europe, but for people around the world who want to live in greater freedom, who want to live in greater security, who want to live with greater dignity.
“Ukraine faces enormous challenges—including external aggression and the need for internal reform. These elections are an opportunity for Ukrainians to make their voices heard, to elect leaders who will carry forward the reforms that Ukraine needs and Ukrainians deserve,” stated U.S. Permanent Representative to the OSCE Ambassador Daniel Baer, “when they go to the polls this weekend, millions and millions of Ukrainians will be taking another step toward seizing a united, democratic, strong future.”
To date, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission has registered hundreds of international election monitors, as well as thousands of domestic monitors from 37 domestic monitoring organizations. These monitors can help Ukrainians ensure their elections meet international norms and standards, just as similar monitoring missions did with the Ukrainian Presidential elections in May. The United States is pleased to support these efforts – including by seconding 65 people to OSCE ODIHR’s short-term election observation mission, and contributing 10 long-term observers.
Russian backed separatists and related violence continue to create a climate of fear that negatively impacts the ability of the Ukrainians to exercise their right to vote. Any efforts to disrupt this democratic process will be seen clearly for what they are: the denial of the right of Ukraine’s citizens to express their political will freely. We strongly condemn any interference in Ukraine’s legitimate democratic process and the ability of Ukrainian citizens to peacefully choose their own leaders.
Legal provisions have been adopted to make it easier to vote for Ukrainian citizens living in areas where polling is not possible. “We hope that Ukrainian citizens in Crimea will exercise their legitimate right to vote in Ukraine’s election, despite Russia’s illegal occupation, and we call on Russian authorities to allow the people of Crimea to travel freely in order to do so,” said Ambassador Baer.
For further information please contact:
U.S. Mission to the OSCE
Kathy Eagen, Public Affairs Counselor