KYIV, UKRAINE – The Honourable Raynell Andreychuk, Senator of Canada and Chief of Mission of the Canadian Election Observer Mission for the 2010 Presidential Election in Ukraine, today presented the mission’s preliminary report on the chief findings upon closing of polls.

“No election is immune to irregularities and challenges, and we are continuing to gather detailed information from our in-field observers,” concluded Sen. Andreychuk.  “Based on reports already received, however, the more significant voting irregularities we observed were not systemic, and appear to have been insufficient in scope and effect to call into question the integrity of the voting process.”

The independent Canadian mission, dubbed Mission Canada – Ukraine Elections 2010 –deployed 200 short-term election observers to 19 Oblasts (administrative regions), to the two metropolitan administrative areas of Kyiv and Sevastopil, and to the autonomous republic of Crimea to monitor the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine held on February 7, 2010.

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The mission’s objective was to observe and report on whether the election result genuinely reflected the democratic expression of the voters of Ukraine. The Canadian observers sought to observe, record, and report while in no way interfering or intervening in any electoral processes.

The Canadian observers were present at the opening of polling stations, observed the electoral process throughout the day, and witnessed the closings of polls.  The mission observed a generally well-organized balloting process, and a genuine broad desire among the public and electoral commissions for a free and open vote.

With the exception of minor disturbances, voters had unhindered access to polling stations, and voted generally without intimidation. The balloting, counting and reporting were generally secure and in accordance with governing statutes.  The mission concluded that the desire of the Ukrainian people to exercise a fair vote appears to have been realized.

“While acknowledging that the Central Electoral Commission has yet to officially pronounce on the election, our preliminary assessment is that the results will reflect the genuine will of Ukrainian voters, and that the electoral process was fair and transparent,” concluded Senator Andreychuk.

Mission Canada was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

For information: Yaroslav Baran, Deputy Chief of Party (Communications)

+38 098 417 14 32 Ukraine.  (613) 301-8802 Canada.