Prime Minister Stephen Harper ANNOUNCES Leadership of the Canadian bilateral election observation mission TO Ukraine (5)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Senator Raynell Andreychuk and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris will lead the Canadian bilateral election observation mission to Ukraine. They will join the hundreds of Canadian election observers arriving in Ukraine.
The Canadian bilateral mission will be led by Senator Raynell Andreychuk. Having previously led Canada’s delegations for the 2010 and 2012 elections, Senator Andreychuk is a leader in the Ukrainian Canadian community, and brings significant experience in election observations and knowledge of the Ukrainian political system.
For these key elections, she will be joined by the Honourable Mike Harris, former Premier of Ontario. Having served as provincial Premier for seven years, Mr. Harris will bring insights and expertise from the democratic process and executive leadership.
Canada is sending a total of 500 observers to Ukraine to monitor the first and second rounds of the election: 338 of the observers will form part of Canada’s independent Ukraine 2014 Presidential Election Bilateral Observation Mission. This includes approximately 38 long-term observers and 300 short-term observers who will undertake electoral analysis, stakeholder engagement and support the Canadian election observer mission.
The remaining 162 observers will participate as part of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly observation missions.
Canada has a long history of providing observers to elections around the globe. Since 2004, Canada has contributed hundreds of election observers to five successive Ukrainian elections to help further strengthen democracy in the country.
· The first round of Ukraine’s Presidential elections are taking place on May 25, 2014. Should it be required, a second round will be held in June.
· On April 23, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced support for the Ukraine 2014 Presidential Election Bilateral Observation Mission.
· The Prime Minister also announced support for up to 150 Canadian observers to participate in the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Election Observation Mission for the presidential elections; and for 12 Canadian parliamentarians to join the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Election Observation Mission delegation to the presidential elections.
· Canada was the first Western country to recognize Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
· In recent months, Canada has provided support to help Ukraine stabilize its economy, promote economic and social development, and for urgent medical assistance for Ukrainians injured while standing up for democratic change.
· Canada, along with a number of other member countries of the OSCE, is also taking part in a special monitoring mission that is reporting on the political and security situation in Ukraine.
“Canada has been steadfast in its support for Ukraine and we are proud to once again play a role in fostering democracy and good governance at this challenging time in that country. With their knowledge and experience, Senator Andreychuk and Mr. Harris will play an important role in leading Canada’s election observer mission, and in helping to ensure free, fair and democratic elections in Ukraine. We thank all of those participating in this important mission for their contribution.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper