Briefing Package on Ukraine s Parliamentary Elections

Publication Date: 
28 Feb 1994

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GENERAL OBSERVER GUIDELINES

         The main objective of election observation is to identify irregular practices that appear to be fraudulent, deliberate and/or pervasive or part of an organized scheme. The presence (or expectation) of observers can play a significant role in deterring such fraudulent practices.

         Observers should not disrupt or interfere with voting, counting or other phases of the election process. Any such interference is prohibited under Ukrainian law. Ask questions, express concerns and render an opinion when asked but do not give orders or instructions to election officials. Comments should generally be addressed to the polling station commission Chairman.

         Be watchful, and take detailed notes describing questionable or irregular voting or counting practices. It is essential to create a written record of any such practices, including place, time, participants and identity of any witnesses (including address and phone number). Photographs may be taken for the purpose of further documenting such practices, however, this should be done to preserve evidence and not to interfere with the conduct of the elections.

         Recognize that honest mistakes may be made by polling station officials. This can be due to inexperience or unfamiliarity with the election law rather than an intention to compromise the integrity of the election process. Consequently, do not view every error or variation in election administration as a deliberate attempt at fraud. This will require attention to detail and sound judgment on the part of observers.

         If serious problems are encountered at a particular polling station, contact your delegation's headquarters (or the IFES office at the Central Election Commission at 7044-293-6000), or bring those situations to the attention of local authorities who have indicated an interest in such information. Consider returning to a polling station later in the day if serious concerns about irregularities or fraud justify another look or increased observer presence.

         On election day, limit any comments to the news media to the purpose and activities of the observation mission. Refrain from providing opinions to news media as to the general fairness or honesty of the election process. Observer delegations will have the opportunity immediately after the election to share information and report their conclusions.  

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