Delivered by Ambassador Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, to the 1224th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council, 4 April 2019
On 31 March 2019, the regular election of the President of Ukraine took place in my country.
Despite the challenges and tragic consequences of ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine, Russia’s illegal occupation of parts of Ukraine’s territory, continuous loss of life by Ukrainians under attacks of the Russian armed formations in Donbas, Ukraine’s authorities have undertaken comprehensive efforts to ensure free and democratic conduct of presidential election in compliance with the national legislation and international standards. Thirty-nine candidates were competing for the position of the President of Ukraine, testifying to the political pluralism and the democratic environment that Ukraine has been consolidating over the past five years.
Both the election campaign and the election day proceeded peacefully. The voters turn-out was registered at 63,5%. The majority of Ukrainian citizens with various social, cultural, and political background from all regions of the State, including from the temporarily occupied territory, participated in the vote, confirming full representativeness and legitimacy of the expressed will. The citizens from Russia-occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions could vote at any polling station on the territory under the Government’s control.
Ukraine highly appreciates the role of the large-scale international observation during the election with over 2300 observers from foreign States and international organization, including large-number missions of observers from the OSCE/ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. We note the view, expressed by the head of the OSCE parliamentary observation mission, that “the Ukrainian people deserve praise for the conduct of these elections”. Indeed, noteworthy is the unanimity of the international observers in giving a positive assessment of the election day. The conduct of this election is seen as a significant achievement of democracy in Ukraine, where free people were making their free choice.
According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission consisting of 967 observers from 45 countries “the 31 March 2019 presidential election in Ukraine was competitive, voters had a broad choice and turned out in high numbers” whereas “legal framework offered a sound basis for holding democratic elections”. The candidates “could campaign freely and without undue restrictions”, while their registration “was largely inclusive”. The fundamental freedoms were generally respected and the election day was well administered and “paves the way to the second round”. The preliminary findings and conclusions also indicate the areas requiring improvements which will be carefully examined by respective authorities in Ukraine to further enhance democratic electoral procedures and practices.
The Central Election Commission of Ukraine (CEC) by now completed the electronic tabulation of the results establishing the two front-runners of the presidential election: Volodymyr Zelenskyi received 30,24% of votes and Petro Poroshenko – 15,95% of votes. According to Ukraine’s legislation, the second round is to take place on 21 April 2019.
The findings of the large-scale international observation mission testify to the truly democratic nature of the presidential election that took place in Ukraine on 31 March 2019. Ukraine will proceed to the second round of election with the determination to ensure its conduct in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.