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The largest ever Government of Canada Observer Mission to Ukrainian Presidential election which took place on Dec. 26 2004 in Ukraine


John Turner and team say Ukraine election smooth just as Yanukovych resigns as Ukraine PM

January 1, 2005

KYIV, Ukraine Former prime minister John Turner signed off on Ukraine's disputed polls Monday, saying that the extraordinary third round that saw Viktor Yushchenko elected by a wide margin met all international standards. Today, Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych has announced he will resign from his post, handing the opposition a symbolic victory, but also vowing to continue his fight for the presidency of this ex-Soviet republic.

 
 

RESULTS SO FAR

Yushchenko: 52.3%
Yanukovych: 43.9%
Turnout: 77%
Source: Ukraine Central Election Commission, with 98% of votes counted
 
 

There were over12,000International Election Observers from all over the world including 500 from Canada. In an interview yesterday in Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine, Dr. Baba Adamu, who is an Observer from Canada spoke with BBC International and Polish Public Television TV1, in which he emphasized that "we as Observers are here to make sure that the election meet International standard, that the people of Ukraine are able to exercise their rights in a free and fair election.

 

We are here to observe and not to influence any side. Our duty is to be neutral and impartial" When asked how could someone sacrifice his time especially during the holiday period, Dr. Adamu said: You know, I know it is  a holiday time but you what, I am glad I am doing this, I am glad to be part of a Mission to advance the course of Democracy and will do it again anytime when call upon to do so"

 

Dr Baba J Adamu has always been pro-active in Democracy and promoting International Trade and Democracy throughout the world. He participated in the Canada Trade Mission to Africa with Canadian Minister Pettigrew which was held on November 15 - 26, 2002. Johannesburg, South Africa, Lagos, Nigeria, Dakar, Senegal following the G-8 commitment towards Africa. Dr. Baba Jibrin Adamu, a Nigerian -Canadian; and is the CEO of iNetworks Canada, in Toronto, Canada.

 
 

"What I saw was quiet, well-organized and well-directed," said Turner, who headed the 500-member Canadian Observation Mission that monitored Sunday's voting in 17 of Ukraine's 25 regions.

"We were well-received across the country," he told a news conference in Kyiv on Monday.

The official observer team, the largest that Canada has ever fielded for any election, was hastily recruited and selected from more than 4,000 applicants - many of them first-time election monitors.

 

They received two days of training in Ottawa and one day of Ukraine orientation in Kyiv before being deployed in 20 groups of 20 around the country.

 

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress, which sent a separate delegation of 500 observers, also released a preliminary report Monday that concluded Ukraine's election "met essential democratic norms and the will of the people was expressed."

 

With about 98 per cent of the ballots counted, Ukraine's Central Election Commission said Monday that Yushchenko was ahead of his Moscow-backed rival, Viktor Yanukovych, by about 52 per cent to 44 per cent of the vote.

 

Yushchenko, a liberal who is strongly backed by the West, was officially defeated in the previous two election rounds that ended last month.

But his supporters alleged fraud and poured into the streets of Kyiv, where they paralysed Ukraine's government and captured world attention with 17 days of continuous protest.

Two weeks ago, Ukraine's Supreme Court annulled the previous elections and ordered a full replay on Dec. 26.

 

Most observer groups, including the powerful Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Canada Corps have certified the election as meeting international standards. Russia's 900-strong observer team, which converged on the pro-Yushchenko western Ukraine, reported Monday that, although the elections were "not quite irreproachable," they did generally reflect the will of the Ukrainian people. Turner said Canadian monitors found only minor violations of proper electoral procedure. "Some (of the infractions) were technical, some were weaknesses of human error," he said. "None were deliberate.

"A good many were of a kind you could find in a Canadian constituency in an election."

Among the problems noted by Canadian observers in a few polling stations were the presence of police near voting booths, refusal to admit international observers, voting without proper identification,

improperly sealed ballot boxes and incomplete voter lists.

The most serious infractions witnessed by Canadians included an election official in Chernihiv coaching people to vote for Yanukovych and, in the eastern region of Donetsk, physical intimidation of a voter who refused to show his marked ballot to an election official.

 

Nevertheless, the interim Canadian monitors' report says "the overall impression drawn by our observers is one of fairness." Turner said he conveyed his conclusions in a phone call to Prime Minister Paul Martin earlier Monday. "Prime Minister Martin was happy with this popular result and congratulated the Ukrainian people for this effort," he said.

 


 

 

 

 

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