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Estonia sending both short- and long-term observers to Ukraine elections

07.05.2014

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is sending two long-term and six short-term observers on a monitoring mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to different parts of Ukraine to observe presidential elections.

According to Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, it is extremely important that the Ukrainian presidential elections planned for May 25 take place and that they are carried out in all parts of Ukraine. “The elections have to be free, democratic and transparent. Any attempts to hinder presidential elections are unacceptable," the minister stressed. "The Ukrainian people must have the right and opportunity to decide the future of their country through peaceful means, not through the use of military force," he added.

Paet noted that the presidential elections in Ukraine are crucial in order to emerge from the crisis and carry out reforms which strengthen the rule of law, reduce corruption, ensure the functioning of the market economy and strengthen civil society.

The OSCE mission's long-term observers will be in Ukraine from March 27 to June 3 and long-term observers will depart for their 10-day mission on May 20. Long-term observers will observe how elections are organized and carried out. The main task of the short-term observers is mainly to observe elections on Election Day. In Europe, the OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) deals mainly with election observation.

In addition, an OSCE special mission will be in Ukraine until the end of September and its task is to help restore peace and stability in Ukraine. The special mission observers were sent for six months to observe and mediate the situation all over Ukraine, including Herson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Chernivtsi and Luhansk. Four Estonian observers are taking part in the special mission.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that the international community must currently do everything possible to support a free, democratic and undivided Ukraine. "Contributing to the OSCE special mission is definitely one of the important activities for reaching these goals,” he added. Estonia has supported the OSCE’s special mission in Ukraine both financially and practically.

For more information on the electoral observation missions: http://www.vm.ee/?q=node/8400.

 

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