Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Government of Canada Announces Chief of Election Observer Mission to Ukraine

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(MARKETWIRE - Feb. 1, 2010) – It was announced today that Senator Raynell Andreychuk will be heading the independent Canadian election observer mission for the second round of Ukraine's presidential election. Ukrainians went to the polls on January 17th to elect a new president, triggering a final run-off vote on February 7th between the leading two contenders. The Government of Canada sponsored 66 election observers to travel to Ukraine for the first round of voting as part of a multilateral mission led by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Canada's contribution to the OSCE mission for the first and second rounds of voting also includes four Canadian embassy staff in Kyiv - resulting in a Canadian commitment of 70 observers that will participate in both rounds. Canada is sending an additional 200 observers as an independent Canadian observer mission for the second round of voting. The second mission is organized by CANADEM with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Observers will monitor the electoral process to ensure compliance with OSCE commitments, international standards for democratic elections and national legislation, further to an official invitation from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Canada has a special historical relationship with Ukraine. More than 1.2 million Canadians trace their ancestry to Ukraine, and Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukrainian independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.