Photo: Shown here is Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York briefing journalists on the current political situation in his country and the May 25 Presidential elections. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras.
Just before the elections in Ukraine, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev, called a press briefing on May 23 at UN Headquarters in New York. The purpose of the briefing, was to inform members of the media at the United Nations, including “Baltic Review”, as to what was at stake in the democratic and transparent Presidential elections scheduled for May 25 in Ukraine. As the ambassador stated, “the decision to hold early Presidential elections on May 25 was adopted by the current Parliament of Ukraine in full compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine (articles 85 and 103) and by its constitutional majority. “
Even before the announcement of the official winner of the Ukrainian Presidential elections hits the newsstands, the Ukrainian “chocolate king” Petro O. Poroshenko, a pro-European
billionaire, is claiming victory. Victorious, too, are the Ukrainian people and their leaders who inspite of the obstacles, were determined to hold a fair, democratic, and transparent election. In the article that follows, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergeyev shares his insight on the current situation in Ukraine and the Presidential elections on May 25. Keep in mind, too, that on May 14, an inclusive National Unity Dialogue was launched in Ukraine upon the initiative of the acting President of Ukraine O. Turchynov and Prime Minister of Ukraine A. Yatsenyuk.
Prior to the elections,” over 21 candidates were registered to take part in the Presidential elections, and as of May 16, 2014, the Central Electoral Commission registered 1375 international observers : 1319 representing international organizations, 56 countries. Respective observation missions were 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 March 19. It is expected that over 900 short-term observers will be present at the polling stations.”
Concerning elections in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and in the East of Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador Sergeyev said the following: “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 and are almost finished.”
In addition, Ambassador Sergeyev went on to say: “All necessary actions to hold presidential elections at the territory of Ukraine are enforced except for the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”
He added, “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 addition, he said: “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.”
When it comes to the activity of armed terrorist groups, the Ambassador said that “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. In speaking about 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.”
He added: “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 commission 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 summing up his viewpoints on the election, Ambassador Sergeyev said: “Despite the 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.”