First of all it should be mentioned that presidential elections conducted in democratic and transparent way are key elements for the normalization of the situation in Ukraine. In spite of unprecedented number of security challenges to our country, there are practically all organizational and legal grounds for holding elections. In particular, citizens of Ukraine who live in the occupied peninsula have an opportunity to vote in other parts of Ukraine. Any calls to disrupt or to postpone the election should be seen as attempts to prevent stabilization of the internal processes in Ukraine.
It is very important that the early presidential elections will take place on legislatively set date – 25 May 2014. 21 candidates for the post of the President of Ukraine are registered to take part in the elections. Candidates represent all regions of Ukraine and wide political spectrum. 114 polling stations were established in foreign electoral district.
At the same time, Ukraine is interested in holding elections in free, transparent and democratic manner, in full compliance with international standards with the maximum presence of international observers.
Highnumberofinternationalobservers is expected to be present at the elections. As of 16 May 2014 Central Electoral Commission registered 1375 international observers: 1319 representing international organizations, 56 – countries. In particular, Observers from Canada, Lithuania, USA, France, Japan, Turkey, OSCE ODIHR, Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Ukrainian World Congress, and Congressional Ukrainian Caucus have already been registered. Respective observation missions will be also sent by the European Parliament, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, NATO and GUAM etc.
Long-term OSCE ODIHR electoral observation mission on monitoring early presidential elections in Ukraine started its work on 19 March. It is expected that over 900 short-term observers will be present at the polling stations.
Presidential campaign 2014 is conducted in times of social and political tensions, security challenges which Ukraine faces for the first time in its modern history. In spite of this enough legal and organizational ground for holding elections and its democratic manner is not questioned. Preparations for the elections are conducted in accordance with calendar plans set by the Central Electoral Commission.
All necessary actions to hold presidential elections at the territory of Ukraine are enforced except for the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Establishment of electoral commissions had almost been terminated. With the view to temporary occupation of the Crimean Peninsula by Russia, there are no district electoral commissions established there. In accordance with current legislation of Ukraine elections at the temporarily occupied territory are neither organized nor hold. At the same time, citizens of Ukraine who live in the occupied peninsula, have opportunities to vote at the Presidential elections in Kherson region which neighbors Crimea, or at any polling station in the territory of Ukraine.
With the view to activity of armed terrorist groups, all necessary actions are undertaken and they are aimed to secure electoral process, members of the electoral commissions and electoral documentations, and to conduct elections at the whole territory of Ukraine.
With the view to the complex security situation in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, on May 15 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted amendments to the Law of Ukraine on the Elections of the President of Ukraine. These provisions envisage: strengthening, if necessary, the protection of ballots and other election documents during their transportation from the precinct and district electoral commissions to the electoral commissions of higher level; increasing the time specified by law for the transfer of the preliminary voter lists by the State Voter Register to the precinct electoral commissions; increasing protection of electoral commissions in their locations; possibility for regional administrations to change the location of the respective electoral commissions, if necessary.
In spite of difficult situation in both regions, the Law of Ukraine “On the Elections of the President of Ukraine” creates enough preconditions to set the results of the elections and the election of the President of Ukraine. CurrentnationallegislationontheelectionsofthePresidentofUkraineenvisionsthat theresultsoftheelectionsaresetinspiteofthenumberofelectoralpolls/electoralprecincts where voting didn’t take place or wasn’t organized.
Ukrainian side highly appreciates unanimous support of the international community, including the vast majority of the UN Security Council members on specific importance of free and democratic presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May 2014 for de-escalation of current situation in our country.
In particular, we highly appreciate the weighted and balanced position of the Republic of Cyprus, which stands firmly for the respect of principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and the protection of human rights. The Cypriot Side supports efforts aiming at the de-escalation and a political resolution to the crisis, as well as at ensuring a smooth electoral process on May 25th.
The Russian Federation is the only country whose official representatives had numerously questioned legitimate outcomes of the elections on 25 May 2014.
We call on all countries to support democratic and free nature of the elections of the President of Ukraine due to the fact that this event is strategically important for consolidation of all political forces of Ukraine, strengthening its state institutions, as well as putting forward democratic and effective reforms.