Monday, 13 August 2012
Canada Supports Democratic Process In Ukraine
OTTAWA, Canada -- Canada will provide 500 observers to work at the parliamentary elections in Ukraine. Such was the joint statement released today by the top Canadian officials. The group from Canada will help assess the credibility of the October 28, 2012, elections in Ukraine. "In recognition of our [Ukraine-Canada] special relationship we are pleased to support this democratic process," said Canadian MP Ted Opitz. The team of Canadian citizens will consist of long- and short-term observers. The long-term observers - 75 persons - will cover the whole territory of Ukraine, being located across the country's 25 regions. They will monitor the compliance of pre-election procedures with democratic and fair elections principles. The main group of observers consisting of 425 people will work in Ukraine during the voting day. They will provide "effective coverage of the representative sample of polling stations", reads the statement of the Canadian government. "These elections are critical to a democratic and prosperous Ukraine. We are proud that Canadian election observers, many from the Ukrainian-Canadian community, will continue to stand by the people of Ukraine," said the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of Canada Jason Kenney, commenting on the deployment of the observers. Notably, an extensive Ukrainian diaspora resides in Canada. The community of 1.2 million ethnic Ukrainians in Canada is the second largest Ukrainian diaspora in the world (over 4 million Ukrainians live in Russia). At the beginning of August 2012, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine registered the first batch of foreign observers to the autumn elections in Ukraine. The team of 39 representatives of the ENEMO (European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations) received permission to observe Ukrainian elections. The network also plans to provide 400 additional short-term observers. The OSCE will send 100 long-term and 600 short-term observers to the Ukrainian elections, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Hryshchenko. To provide for transparent parliamentary elections, in July 2012, the parliament of Ukraine ruled to equip most polling stations with web-cameras, broadcasting the signal from the stations online. The installation of the web-cameras at the voting stations enables anyone with internet access to watch elections in Ukraine in real time. According to the new law, the cameras may not interfere with the secret ballot system and the freedom of voting.