ECMU: As Ukraine Election Nears, Experts Evaluate Criteria for Free and Fair Votes
23.10.2012 |In the World| European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECFMU),
Constituencies in Ukraine for 2012
The Sciences Po, French university, recently conducted comparative study jointly with the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, setting out the fundamental principles that guide election observation.
The presidential and parliamentary elections’ observation was held in a number of European countries, including and specifically in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine. The criteria are:
- Access to election
- Political situation
- Institutional system
- Election frauds/violations of law
The range of key indicators help to determine how free and fair an election is, and whether it should be treated as valid by the international community. These indicators offer a roadmap to areas for urgent or long-term improvement of the election process.
The in-depth analysis revealed that while Ukraine’s ongoing reform process is essential, severe challenges occur at times in developing nations - yet often elections are treated as fully valid.
Thus, Armenia’s recent elections were recognized as fair by the international community, but the analysis cited acts of violence against campaign activists and party property; discrepancies in vote tabulation; evidence of ballot stuffing and implausible turnout at polling stations; and clear evidence of media bias.
In Ukraine, given the heavy attention to the country on the eve of the election, officials from all the country’s political parties are committed to ensuring a high-quality election. The threat of considering only certain outcomes, rather than the process as legitimate by some observers, seems largely real.