Oh dear, ODIHR.
Posted by democratist on November 1, 2010
1st November 2010,
Democratist is rather concerned about the results of Sunday’s local elections in Ukraine.
According to an exit poll by international market research firm GfK, President Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions took a substantial 36% of the vote; nearly three times the tally for the next placed Fatherland opposition party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
The final results remain to be seen, but Tymoshenko’s camp have already been complaining about electoral fraud, and are refusing to accept the result in three Oblasts.
Democratist’s initial reaction is that we cannot help but think that it might have been wiser for the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to have forfeited their general policy of only sending a very few (if any) election monitors to observe municipal elections (a mere four in this instance) and to have sent a more substantial team, which would have underscored the OSCE’s commitment to Ukraine’s continued democratic development.
Instead, this lacklustre performance may well provide additional encouragement to those who point to the EU’s foot-dragging in relation to offering Ukraine a firm membership prospective, as evidence that Europe and the US are essentially indifferent to Ukraine, and the country should not worry too much about observing the democratic niceties.
Additionally, it would have also provided a credible alternative international “voice” to that of the Russian-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) observers, who predictably stated that they did not register any election violations.