BRAMA, Dec 27, 2004, 9:00 pm ET|
Infractions not as widespread in Ukrainian election says Member of Parliament Borys Wrzesnewskyj
KYIV - Notwithstanding the reduction in the number of infractions in the third round of the presidential election in Ukraine on Dec. 26th, Liberal MP and Canadian Parliamentary Election Observer, Borys Wrzesnewskyj again expressed disappointment with the continued attempts at election fraud in the east of the country during the third round of voting. Commenting on the third round, Wrzesnewskyj stated that:
"There has been progress to correct many aspects of the fraud witnessed by Canadian observers in the previous two rounds of voting. As part of the Canada Corps team here to ensure that the will of the Ukrainian people is respected, it is comforting that unlike the previous rounds, the third round official results more closely match exit poll figures. I am nevertheless disappointed that on election day I witnessed, with Members of Parliament Andrew Telegdi and Bernard Bigras many of the same infractions observed in the second round and that irregularities have continued both at polling stations and at the territorial level."
Mr. Wrzesnewskyj, who led parliamentary delegations during the first two rounds of voting, along with his colleagues experienced the following illegal activities and violations: denial of access to so called "technical rooms" of a territorial commission where home-voting lists were being prepared; discovery of hundreds of unnumbered ballots; denial of access to Canadian observers to a polling station; confiscation of a Member of Parliament's camera and video camera; police intimidation of voters, local and international election observers and commission members; fraudulent voters lists where there were people included who were deceased prior to 2004 and people who have moved away. These violations took place at polls in the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine as well as in villages outside of Kharkiv.
Notwithstanding these infractions, Mr. Wrzesnewskyj expressed the importance of the role that Canadian election observers have played in the Ukrainian elections:
"Canadian election observers have played a major role in ensuring fairness and transparency in the electoral process. By sending an unprecedented in size contingent of observers, Canada has made a great contribution in the evolution of democracy in Ukraine."
Since September, Canada has consistently been a strong international voice encouraging free and democratic elections in Ukraine. Member of Parliament, Borys Wrzesnewskyj has been the prime mover in reaching all-party consensus in Canada for sending a consistent message encouraging free and fair elections. Wrzesnewskyj spearheaded the unanimously accepted House of Commons motion of October 26, the emergency debate of November 24, and the unanimous House of Commons motion of November 25.
Member of Parliament – Etobicoke Centre
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