The Verkhovna Rada banned the presence of Russian observers at the presidential election

The Verkhovna Rada banned the presence of Russian observers at the presidential election

The Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law prohibiting Russians from being observers at the presidential elections in Ukraine in March 2019.

On February 7th the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine voted for draft law No. 9524, which bans citizens of the Russian Federation and persons proposed by the Russian side to be an observer in the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine. The corresponding decision was supported by 232 people's deputies.

The explanatory note states that draft law No. 9524 ("On amendments to some laws of Ukraine on monitoring the electoral process in Ukraine") was developed "in order to minimize the risks and threats posed by the interference of the Russian Federation in elections in Ukraine".

At the same time, the expediency of adopting a separate law to prevent the admission of Russian observers is questionable. After all, according to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation ratified by Ukraine, the acceptance of observers is not an obligation, but the right of the state.

In particular, the Declaration states that "in order for an international election observation mission to effectively and credibly conduct its work basic conditions must be met - the country holding the election issues an invitation or otherwise indicates its willingness to accept international election observation missions in accordance with each organization’s requirements...."

As a reminder, on February 4th the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that he would give the order to the State Border Service of Ukraine to not let observers from the Russian Federation take part in the 2019 presidential elections.

Earlier, via resolution No. 274, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine virtually eliminated 3 million Ukrainians from the 2019 electoral process, since the Commission decided to move polling stations from the Russian Federation to the embassies of Ukraine in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Finland.

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