On Sunday, October 25th, Ukrainians will vote for local council officials from the oblast down to the village levels. More than 25,000 officials will be elected under a new electoral law. These elections are significant because the role of local officials has been expanded by recent governmental decentralization reforms. The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) are seeking volunteers to serve as international election observers. Given the worldwide pandemic and various travel restrictions, the Election Observation Mission (EOM) will rely primarily on expats already residing in Ukraine.
The EOM will be co-Chaired by Borys Wrzesnewskyj, former Member of Parliament of Canada and Andriy Futey, UCCA President and UWC Vice President. Tamara Olexy, UWC Regional Vice President and UCCA Executive Director will serve as Mission Coordinator. Natalia Nemyliwska, Director of the UWC Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee, will serve as Chief Observer from UWC. Veteran UCCA International Election Monitor, Reno Domenico will serve as Chief Observer from UCCA.
The joint UWC-UCCA EOM is made up of volunteers committed to Ukraine’s democratic progress and who will cover their own expenses related to their participation in the mission.
The EOM’s goal is to support an open and transparent electoral process in Ukraine. UWC and UCCA support Ukraine’s commitment to OSCE standards for free and fair elections that accurately reflect the will of the electorate, and do not support any candidate, political party or bloc. UWC & UCCA expect to release their findings at a virtual press conference following the elections.
“These elections are unlike any other in Ukraine’s history, not only because of the challenges posed by the pandemic but because local governments now have a greater say in their local affairs, which is a long overdue and welcome departure from the legacy of the highly-centralized, Soviet past. – stated Paul Grod, UWC President. – UWC remains committed to supporting transparency and fairness of electoral processes, even during these challenging times.”
“Safeguarding fair and transparent elections in Ukraine not only secures the democratic future of Ukraine and her people; Ukraine is on the frontline of a continental struggle for democratic values and human rights.” – stated Borys Wrzesnewskyj, Head of UWC Election Observation Mission.
To volunteer for the UWC-UCCA EOM please contact [email protected]
Note: The UWC & UCCA EOM will coordinate in-country travel, lodging, translators and guides (if necessary) and provide official Central Election Commission (CEC) international observer accreditation. EOM volunteers will be responsible for all costs associated with their participation in the Mission. Prior to elections, the EOM will hold a mandatory virtual training for its observers that will include instruction on how to operate UCCA’s unique on-line election app, hostile environment awareness training, a review of the new election law, COVID-related safety protocols and election observation best practices.
We encourage to carefully consider the risks related to COVID-19 before applying for this volunteer role, including the current situation in Ukraine and risks related to travel.