President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko met with heads of international monitoring missions that will observe local elections in Ukraine on October 25.
Despite the fact that local elections in Europe are usually held without international observers, it was decided to invite them this time. As a result, 1554 international observers from 14 countries and 14 international organizations will take part in observing the elections.
“The key position is to ensure free and unbiased expression of will during these elections,” the Head of State said. According to Petro Poroshenko, since last presidential and parliamentary elections have met the highest international standards, it is very important to hold local elections in the same manner. “I will do everything for local elections to be held in compliance with the same criteria,” the President emphasized.
The President reminded that on September 9, he had issued a Decree to oblige local authorities and law enforcement bodies to make every effort to protect free choice of Ukrainian citizens.
The Head of State noted that the decentralization reform had been started and local authorities had received additional financial powers. He is hopeful that after the approval of constitutional amendments, local authorities will also be able to redistribute powers. “This is the face of Ukraine in the world,” Petro Poroshenko said.
“I am confident that we have to learn to live under the Law and the principles of democracy,” the President said. According to him, full restart of the authorities is now being completed. “The President was re-elected, the Parliament was renewed by almost 60%. I am hopeful that the same restart will take place in local authorities as well,” Petro Poroshenko noted.
“It is crucial for them to meet the expectations of people. I would like a pro-Ukrainian coalition to be established in every local council,” the President added.
The Head of State is hopeful that those who are willing to destabilize the situation in the country and disrupt it from inside would not receive support of people. “It will be an assessment of their political activity,” he said.
The President wished an efficient work to the observers. “We are interested in an efficient cooperation and coordination with the international observers. We’ve provided respective instructions for the law enforcement bodies and government officials. You may contact them for any help,” he noted.
Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission in Ukraine Tana de Zulueta thanked the President for an opportunity to work in Ukraine and informed on the activity of mission that has worked in Ukraine since September 19. “We’ve been assisted by central authorities and are content with the level of interaction and assistance from the Central Election Commission and the law enforcement bodies,” she said. Tana de Zulueta informed that additional 450 short-term observers of the mission had arrived in Ukraine the day before. They will monitor the elections in all regions of Ukraine.
The meeting was also attended by Head of the European Parliament Delegation in the Committee of Ukraine - EU Parliamentary Cooperation Andrej Plenković, Speaker of the PACE Delegation for Supervision Emanuelis Zingeris, Head of the Delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities on the Monitoring of Local Elections in Ukraine, President of the Chamber of Regions of the Congress, Vice-Chairman of the Land Council of Salzburg Gudrun Mosler-Törnström, Vice President of the EU Committee of the Regions, member of the working group on Ukraine Arnoldas Abramavičius, Head of the Special Mission of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) Zlatko Vujović.