July 22, 2019, Ottawa. Yesterday Ukraine held early Parliamentary elections, which were widely described as free and fair by international election observers.
“Ukraine’s new Parliament has a strong mandate from the Ukrainian people to deliver on reforms,” said Alexandra Chyczij, National President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC). “We expect ongoing Euro-Atlantic integration, promotion and protection of the Ukrainian language as the sole state language, and continuation of necessary reforms” said Chyczij.
Chyczij also stressed the need for the new Parliament to continue to advocate for the release of all Ukrainian political prisoners held illegally by Russia, as well as for an end to Russia’s illegal invasion of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
Canada’s bilateral election observation mission is organized by CANADEM and headed by the Honourable Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. He presented his report in Kyiv earlier today noting “the election commissions coped with their tasks in an appropriate manner…. we observed effective coordination with law enforcement agencies. We think that voting took place in an orderly fashion. Although there were some irregularities, they did not affect the overall voting results.”
Eugene Czolij, Head of Mission for the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) observer mission presented his report stating that “based on the monitoring results of the UWC Mission, the 2019 Parliamentary Election in Ukraine has met international standards for the conduct of democratic elections.”
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress thanks and acknowledges Canada’s support of Ukraine and thanks all Canadian election observers who served as part of the CANADEM and UWC teams during the election process.
With almost 80% of ballots counted, the Servant of the People party occupies the lead position with 43% of the vote. In second place is the Opposition Platform led by Viktor Medvedchuk, with 13 %, followed by European Solidarity, led by former President Petro Poroshenko and, Batkivshchyna/Fatherland, led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.. The last party to make the 5% threshold is Holos/Voice party, led by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk.
The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) has 450 seats, half of which (225) are elected through closed party-list proportional representation. The other half of the seats are elected in local districts with a first-past-the-post electoral system.
26 districts in the first-past-the-post system are suspended due to the ongoing occupation of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea by Russian forces.