October 31, 2012
Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program interns are organizing a demonstration near the Embassy of Ukraine (corner of Somerset Avenue and O’Connor Street), Ottawa, this Thursday, November 1 at 9:00 AM.
The protest aims to draw attention to numerous violations that has plagued the elections to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine held last Sunday. The numerous violations have been confirmed by preliminary reports from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and by the Ukrainian World Congress.
“As Ukrainian interns with the Parliament of Canada, we face a cognitive dissonance when we compare the true democracy in action in Canada and the visibility of democracy in Ukraine. There is no way people of Ukraine should tolerate it. Democracy started from the street and action”.
The violations include:
- The Central Election Commission’s (CEC) denial of candidate registration to the leaders of opposition Yulia Tymoshenko and Yurij Lutsenko;
- lack of media access due to concentration of media ownership and editorial content control;
- lack of transparency in campaign and party financing;
- CEC’s lack of transparency including holding its pre-session meetings behind closed doors and discriminatory handling complaints;
- Application of administrative resources including use of public space for the party in power advertisements, as well as during the rest of the election campaign;
- Incidents of violence and intimidation against candidates and campaign workers;
- Mass, rather than individual, casting of ballots;
Hence we demand Ukrainian Government officials apply international standards to ensure investigations of electoral violations are conducted in an impartial and transparent manner. The manipulation of election results must be investigated and dealt with in a timely manner.
In addition, we request the Canadian Government take concrete steps against Ukrainian Government officials and Ukrainian businesses that are impeding the electoral process. The Canadian Government can lead an international effort to apply pressure to ensure the judiciary remains independent and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
“All Ukrainians need to voice their dissatisfaction aloud. As loud as a largest country on the European continent should.”
Slava Ukrayini! Let democracy rule!
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