- The 25 May Early Presidential Election has been held and in the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian territory has met international democratic standards.
- Notwithstanding, the troubling violence in Luhansk and Donetsk, and the illegal annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory in Crimea the election is a clear and unambiguous reflection of the democratic will of the Ukrainian people.
- The 25 May Early Presidential election in Ukraine took place in every region of the country except occupied Crimea
- The illegal occupation and annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Russian Federation in effect disenfranchised over 1.5 million Ukrainian citizens and deprived them of the right to vote for their President;
- Excepting Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the violent actions of militants and unwarranted intrusions and destabilization by the Russian Federation disturbed both the campaign and the administration of the election, the overall campaign was relatively calm and free of violations;
- The disenfranchisement of voters in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, as well as citizens of Ukraine living in the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, is not the result of actions taken by Ukraine’s governing authorities, nor its election administration. Rather, the disenfranchisement of voters in these regions of Ukraine is the result of illegal invasion, the intimidation causing fear and annexation by a foreign power, or the violence caused by armed militants acting outside the boundaries of law;
- The electoral, legal framework underwent several amendments over the course of the election period to strengthen its compliance with international standards and democratic principles. These changes balance the protection of voting rights and the integrity of voting processes in a difficult security environment.
- In general, the Central Election Commission organized Early Presidential Elections in a professional, non-partisan manner, and within prescribed legal deadlines despite a shortened election timeframe and disruptive actions by militant groups in some parts of the country. Where the commissions were operational, district and precinct election commissions were observed to fulfill their legal responsibilities. The most frequently cited challenge conveyed at these levels related to turnover of DEC and PEC commissioners, which was attributed to insufficient and geographically uneven nominations by presidential candidates and low compensation for heavy workloads. Improvements to the quality, scope and accessibility of PEC training nonetheless mitigated risks of commissioner inexperience.
- Attempts by militant groups to sabotage the Early Presidential Election in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts slowed, and blocked, the formation of DECs and PECs, the transfer of voter lists and other procedures in those oblasts. Alleged violations reported to have occurred in these oblasts by militant groups prior to Election Day included: threats, physical assaults of DEC commissioners, destruction of DEC materials, and shutdowns of DEC premises. The CANEOM Mission visited several PEC premises that had been shut down by armed militants in the Donetsk Oblast. It condemns in the harshest possible terms the use of violence and intimidation by these militant groups, which violated basic democratic and human rights, and underlines that these actions and their consequences were not representative of election processes conducted in the territory of Ukraine.
- The pre-election period as observed by CANEOM observers was largely free of violations, and observers noted a low number of complaints in the election process;
- The misuse of administrative resources was almost completely absent from the election process;
- Excepting the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where voting did not take place due to the continued illegal occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory by the Russian Federation, and Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where the violent and condemnable actions of militants significantly disrupted voting and disenfranchised many citizens, CANEOM observed a calm, orderly and transparent opening process, voting process and close and count in the vast majority of cases.
- Delays were caused in tabulation of results by a breakdown of the CEC server.
1. POLITICAL BACKGROUND
The 2014 Early Presidential Elections in Ukraine are taking place against the backdrop of the deepest political crisis facing the country since its independence. Two strong forces are at play in Ukraine – one is the people of Ukraine, who are actively engaged in the long and difficult process of building a democratic, free society which benefits its citizens. The other is the Russian Federation, which has invaded and annexed sovereign Ukrainian territory in Crimea and is destabilizing the state and society, directly threatening the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
What began in November 2013 as peaceful protests against President Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an Association Agreement and a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union spiraled quickly into state-sanctioned action and subsequent violence against those protestors, which culminated on February 18-20 with government forces using deadly force against its own people – resulting in the deaths of some 100 individuals. The violence wrought by the Yanukovych regime led to the abandonment of the President by the ruling majority in Parliament, and Yanukovych fled Kyiv on 21 February.
In accord with the Constitution, Parliament appointed Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as acting president, and confirmed a new Cabinet of Ministers and Prime Minister on 27 February. Early presidential elections were designated for 25 May. Then, on 28 February movements of Russian Federation troops began in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. A referendum was held in Crimea on 16 March, with the presence of Russian armed forces, which was deemed illegitimate and illegal by an overwhelming majority of nation states. The Russian Federation illegally annexed Crimea.
The last two months have seen rising violence in eastern oblasts, particularly Donetsk and Luhansk, where there is evidence of unwarranted and illegal intrusion of foreign involvement in fomenting unrest. In addition, there is evidence of violence, supported by local separatists, extremists and criminal elements.
Ukrainian military and law enforcement units continue an active anti-terrorist operation in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, which has had uneven success. Sporadic, and at times, heavy fighting between Ukrainian units and pro-Russian militants has unfortunately become a common occurrence in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
2. ELECTION SYSTEM AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Ukraine uses a two-round countrywide district system for presidential elections. If no candidate achieves an absolute majority in the first round of voting, a run-off is held between the two candidates who received the highest number of votes.
The legal framework that governs presidential elections in Ukraine is comprised of the Constitution of Ukraine, Law on Election of the President of Ukraine, Law on the Central Election Commission (CEC) and Law on the State Voter Register, as well as provisions of the Code of Administrative Adjudication, the Code of Administrative Offenses, Criminal Code and CEC resolutions that are adopted during elections to clarify administrative procedures.
In March 2014, the Verkhovna Rada amended several key components of this legislative framework. The Presidential Election Law was amended to provide greater consistency and clarity to procedures for the revision of voter lists, printing of ballots and delivery, voting, and tabulation of results.
The new law also strengthens the administration of presidential elections by allowing registered candidates to nominate one member for each election commissionand prohibits revisions to voter lists on Election Day. This stands to reduce administrative burdens as well as the susceptibility to fraud by eliminating the possibility of the same voter voting at multiple polling stations.
The new law increases transparency of presidential elections by allowing for accreditation of observers from domestic non-governmental organizations and requires online publication of resolutions adopted by election commissions at the national and district levels.
Experts have raised concerns about additional pressure being placed on the CEC to prepare district and precinct election commissioners under amended procedures and condensed timelines. Collaboration between the CEC and expert groups has resulted in notable improvements to the scope and quality of election commissioner training, as well as greater use of online tools to inform voters about election processes.
On April 15, the Verkhovna Rada passed the Law on Ensuring the Rights and Freedoms of Citizens and the Legal Order on the Temporary Occupied Territory of Ukraine. It established that the Early Presidential Election could not be held in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Districts 1-10) and the City of Sevastopol (Districts 224-225). It also set out procedures for voting by residents of those territories, as well as persons that became internally displaced following their illegal occupation by the Russian Federation.
On May 15, the Vekhovna Rada enacted amendments to the Law on Presidential Elections to strengthen security measures to protect voters and the integrity of voting processes in response to the seizure of government buildings, as well as intimidation and incidents of violence against election commissioners by militia groups in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. These amendments strengthened the protection of district election commission (DEC) premises and empowered the CEC to change their location outside of their respective constituency.
Under these amendments, the CEC can also requestthe Security Service of Ukraine to accompany the transportation of ballots and other materials between precinct and district election commissions. Further amendments to the Presidential Election Law on May 20 clarified that ballots would be considered unused and destroyed if they could not be transported between the CEC, district and precinct election commissions.
On May 6, the Law on Presidential Elections was amended to reduce the minimum number of members required to form an election commission at the polling station level.  This allowed for a majority of precinct election commissions to form within legal deadlines.
The revisions to Ukraine’s presidential election law strengthen compliance with international standards and democratic principles. The legislation was complimented by frequent CEC resolutions that provided for protection of voting rights and secure access of voters to polling stations.
3. CAMPAIGN ENVIRONMENT
23 citizens of Ukraine registered as candidates for the 2014 Early Presidential elections. 2 candidates withdrew before the 2 May withdrawal deadline, leaving 21 candidates on the ballot. After the deadline passed, 4 candidates announced that they were withdrawing from the campaign; because they withdrew after the deadline, their names remained on the ballot.
A series of national debates (three candidates per debate) were organized on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the two weeks prior to the election and Friday 23 May. They were held on First National Television, the state-run TV channel.
CANEOM observers met with candidates and representatives of campaigns at both at the national and regional levels. By and large, observers reported that candidates and their representatives were satisfied with the work of the Central Election Commission and had few concerns with the overall administration of the election.
Candidates and their representatives noted some concerns with proper access to media, referring several times to the fact that they found it difficult to gain access to the larger television networks.
The campaign period as observed by CANEOM observers was notable as well for the lack of misuse of administrative resources. Only sporadic and isolated incidents, for example – the attendance of a candidate’s rally by an oblast governor during working hours – were reported by CANEOM observers.
Candidates and their representatives raised serious concerns over the safety and security of both their commission members and campaign staff in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where armed militants in several locations have sought to sabotage and undermine the electoral process.
Campaigning focused largely on candidates meetings and rallies, billboards, television, radio and print advertising, and the distribution of leaflets. Observers reported no problems at candidates’ rallies. There were limited reports of damaged campaign billboards in some regions.
During the campaign period observed by CANEOM long-term observers, it was more restrained and subdued than usual. The main issues of focus of the campaign were the issues of national security; national unity; geostrategic course and the status of the Russian language. Traditional campaign issues, such as the economy, jobs, the provision of health services and education appeared as secondary issues.
4. CAMPAIGN AND ELECTION SECURITY
The Ministry of Internal Affairs informed CANEOM that almost 99,000 law enforcement officers would provide security on election day. Mobile groups were made available to provide additional security as necessary, and almost 29,000 officers from various services were used to patrol streets on election day.
In the vast majority of the territory of Ukraine, except in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, CANEOM observers reported that the security situation during the campaign period was satisfactory. There were limited reports of concerns from law enforcement officials that redeployment of their personnel into eastern regions of the country would cause difficulties in providing security in their home region. These concerns turned out to be unfounded.
In parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, however, the security of both the campaign and the administration of the election process was seriously undermined by the presence and intrusion of armed militants who attempted in several cities and regions to sabotage and disrupt the election process. As of April 30 there were 3,352,382 registered voters in Donetsk and 1,797,379 in Luhansk. The violence in these regions, as well as intimidation and abductions of election officials, journalists and civilians by armed militants raises concerns about the access of the right to vote of approximately 14.1% of the Ukrainian electorate.
CANEOM stresses, however, that this potential disenfranchisement of voters in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, as well as citizens of Ukraine living in the occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, is the result not of actions taken either by Ukraine’s governing authorities, nor its election administration. Rather, the disenfranchisement of voters in these regions of Ukraine is the result of illegal invasion and annexation by a foreign power, or the violence caused by armed militants acting outside the boundaries of law.
5. RIGHT TO VOTE OF CITIZENS FROM TEMPORARILY OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND RIGHT TO VOTE OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS
As of 30 April, 2014, 1,531,366 citizens of Ukraine were registered to vote in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and 308,913 in the city of Sevastopol. Because of the Russian Federation’s invasion and annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, polling stations were not opened in Crimea, and Ukrainian citizens had to leave the republic to vote.
The Ministry of Social Policy reported to CANEOM observers that 8666 residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea have registered with the Ministry as internally displaced persons to mainland Ukraine. Amendments to the Law on Presidential Elections simplified the procedure for changing the place of voting for Ukrainian citizens registered in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Crimean residents needed only to provide their passport showing that they were registered in Crimea to temporarily change their voting address.
4,451 citizens registered to vote in Autonomous Republic of Crimea and 1,587 citizens registered in Sevastopol city registered to vote outside of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The vast majority of these are internally displaced persons; according to estimates, very few residents of temporarily occupied territory registered to vote, as the procedure necessitated leaving Crimea to register by 19 May, returning home, and then returning to mainland Ukraine to cast a ballot on 25 May.
In addition to the obvious intimidation by occupying authorities and the possibility that citizens may not be allowed to return to occupied territory after registering and/or voting, the cost of travel (two round trips) was cited as a prohibitive reason for the low number of Crimean residents who registered to vote on mainland Ukraine.
6. ELECTION ADMINISTRATION
Presidential elections in Ukraine are administered at three levels. The Central Election Commission (CEC) is the permanent legal body that presides over the preparation and conduct of elections, the formation of District Election Commissions (DECs) which in their turn establish Precinct Election Commissions (PECs). Ukraine is divided into 225 electoral districts. The CEC formed 213 DECs for the Early Presidential Elections after determining that election procedures could not be administered on the territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol. 32,235 PECs were formed across these election districts for the Early Presidential Elections.
The CEC is composed of 15 members appointed by Ukraine’s Parliament on the nomination of the President. The CEC organized the Early Presidential Elections in a non-partisan manner, and within prescribed legal deadlines despite a shortened election timeframe and disruptive actions by militant groups in some parts of the country. CANEOM observed improvements in the provision of training to DEC members through the CEC in partnership with legal experts and civil society organizations.
District Election Commissions (DECs) are administrative bodies responsible for the formation, proper functioning and establishment of voting results of Precinct Election Commissions (PECs). On April 14, the CEC formed 213 out of 225 DECs. This excluded twelve districts under illegal occupation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol.
Attempts by militant groups to sabotage the Early Presidential Election in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts slowed, and blocked the formation of DECs and PECs, the transfer of voter lists and other procedures in those oblasts. Alleged violations that have been reported in these oblasts by militant groups include: threats, physical assaults and even kidnappings of DEC commissioners, destruction of DEC materials, and shutdowns of DEC premises. The CANEOM Mission visited several PEC premises that had been shut down by armed militants in the Donetsk Oblast. An overall climate of intimidation of citizens and officials was created.
Where operational, DECs have broadly been observed to function satisfactorily in terms of providing technical assistance and training to PECs, meeting prescribed legal deadlines for the transmission of preliminary voter lists and invitation cards, and coordinating with local law enforcement bodies in preparation for elections.
The most frequently cited challenge conveyed to CANEOM observers by DEC Members related to the replacement of DEC and PEC commissioners. As of May 21, the CEC replaced more than 1800 DEC commissioners. This turnover was spread evenly across the country and was attributed to insufficient compensation for heavy workloads and corresponding legal responsibilities. The impracticality of having DEC commissioners who resided in other districts was mentioned as a common cause of their resignation.
By the deadline for PEC formation, nominations for PEC commissioners were not received in sufficient numbers or evenly distributed from presidential candidates to meet minimal legal requirements in many election precincts. The Vekhovna Rada amended the Presidential Election Law and reduced the minimum size of PECs from 12 to 9 commissioners. DECs did not receive guidance on how to fill these positions, which have also been subject to high turnover rates.
Improvements to the quality, scope and accessibility of PEC training was expected to mitigate risks from commission inexperience. Training sessions observed by the CANEOM Mission were diverse in practical and theoretical content, and accompanied by comprehensive briefing materials.
Shortages of computers and other material resources were another area of concern for commissioners at the district and precinct levels, which the CEC acknowledged and attributed to the unexpected shortening of the election cycle.
Transfer of Preliminary Voter Lists
The transfer of preliminary voter’s lists was delayed by the CEC in fear that separatist groups would use it for the so-called referenda which occurred on May 11, in parts of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts. As of May 22, only 17% of PECs in Luhansk Oblast and 31% of PECs in Donetsk Oblast had received voter lists. Legal deadlines for the transfer of preliminary voter lists and invitation cards to PECs in other oblasts have been fulfilled.
7. VOTER REGISTRATION
State Voter Register
All citizens of Ukraine who have reached the age of 18 on Election Day have the right to vote. The State Voter Register (SVR) is an automated information system that maintains the personal information of voters, under the management of 27 Registration Administration Bodies (RABs) and 756 Register Maintenance Bodies (RMBs). The database of the register is updated each month based on information provided by relevant authorities.
Voter lists are extracted from the SVR and prepared for polling stations by RMBs no later than 8 days before an election. They are transmitted to polling stations along with invitation cards containing the name and registered address of voters for that election precinct, as well as the location and opening hours of the PEC premises.
Temporary Change of Voting Address
Amendments to the Presidential Election Law prohibit revisions to voter lists at precinct polling stations with a court order on Election Day. The amendments do provide voters with the right to temporarily change their place of voting without changing their registered address. If a voter cannot be present at his or her registered election address on Election Day, the voter is now entitled to apply for a temporary change of place of voting. In this application, the voter must provide evidence for the reason of the temporary change. An exception to these requirements was made to facilitate voting by citizens whose registered address of residence is in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and City of Sevastopol. These voters only need to present a national passport to apply for a temporary change of voting address.
8. COMPLAINTS AND APPEALS
Relatively few complaints and appeals were filed throughout the election period. Public attention was focused on tensions in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts.
Election-related complaints can be filed with administrative courts and election commissions. Recent amendments to the legal framework for presidential elections in Ukraine have failed to strengthen mechanisms for enforcement of sanctions for violations
9. ЕLECTION COMMISSIONS
Central Election Commission
Despite a shortened election timeline and the challenge of administering parallel local elections in numerous districts, the CEC adopted hundreds of resolutions since February 25 to clarify legal provisions. In several cases, CEC resolutions have created new procedures to protect the safety of voters and enhance the integrity of voting procedures in the context of military tensions in and around Luhansk and Donetsk.
District Election Commissions
Recent amendments to the Presidential Election Law require DEC resolutions to be published on the CEC website immediately after adoption. As of May 20, the CEC website contained more than 2000 decisions received from 213 DECs. The main issues raised in DEC resolutions related to changes to the composition of PECs, registration of domestic election observers, changes to the addresses of DEC premises, and arrangements with local law enforcement bodies to ensure the security of PEC premises, commissioners and voters.
According to the Code of Administrative Adjudication, administrative courts have precedence over election commissions in consideration of election-related disputes. They can refer cases involving revisions to voter lists, and complaints about decisions, actions or the inactivity of PECs to local courts.
Relatively few complaints were filed to election commissions over this election period, leaving administrative courts with few appeals to consider. Most issues raised by appellants related to the overall legitimacy of the Early Presidential Election and some media activities.
Cases on Challenges to the Calling of the Early Presidential Election
Four cases challenged the constitutional basis upon which the Verkhovna Rada called the Early Presidential Election. Applicants raised issues in connection to the termination of powers of outgoing President Viktor Yanukovych by the Verkhovna Rada, following his flight on February 22. The administrative courts dismissed the cases.
Cases Regarding the Distribution of Management Positions in DECs
Candidate Anatoliy Hrytsenko challenged the redistribution of management in some DECs by the CEC (Resolution 468; 02.05.2021) following the withdrawal of candidates Natalia Korolevska and Oleh Tsariov. The court dismissed the case after the CEC provided written evidence that its redistribution provided for compliance with the proportionality principle that guarantees assignment of executive positions on DECs in proportion to each candidate’s total number of commission nominations.
10. THE IMMEDIATE PRE-ELECTION PERIOD (MAY 22-24)
From May 22-24, CANEOM observers in all oblasts except Crimea monitored the delivery of ballots and other election materials to polling stations and assessed the preparedness of election commissioners. CANEOM observers visited more than 1150 polling stations during this immediate pre-election period.
Observers’ overall assessment of preparations of PECs was good or very good in 96% of cases. They were generally granted cooperation from PEC members and access to election materials. Nearly 90% of visited polling stations were open and operational. Very few instances of campaign materials or activities were reported inside of polling stations or within their vicinity. 860 of 871 PECs (98.74%) visited by CANEOM observers had not received any complaints over the course of the election.
54% of PECs visited by CANEOM observers underwent membership changes in the week before the election – a concerning trend that was observed throughout the election period. PEC members were nonetheless evaluated to be confident, knowledgeable, and balanced in terms of training and experience. In Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk and Poltava, observers noted a pattern of resignations by PEC members nominated through Petro Symonenko who ceased his campaign for the presidency on May 16, but no cases in which PECs were unable to form quorum.
CANEOM observers did not experience any tensions or unrest in the vicinity of polling stations. The only exceptions were the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk where armed militants created an atmosphere of terror.
11. VOTING DAY
THE OPENING OF POLLS
CANEOM observers were present at the opening of 75 polling stations. Overall, observers deemed the conduct of the opening procedure to be Very Good or Good in 98.7% of cases. Observers also noted that procedures were followed in 95.8% of cases and the PECs understanding of procedures was Very Good or Good in 94.7% of cases.
Observers reported only 1 case of tension or/and unrest outside of polling stations. All necessary election materials were present in all but 2 cases. 86% of polling stations opened on time at 8:00 a.m., and all polling stations visited were open by 8:30.
In an overwhelming majority of cases, observers reported no problems or irregularities with opening procedure. The seal tape on the safe or metal strongbox was intact, ballots were intact and ballot boxes were properly sealed.
THE VOTING PERIOD
CANEOM deployed 69 teams of two observers in 23 oblasts to assess and monitor the voting in the early presidential elections including circumstances inside and outside polling stations, registration of voters and voting procedures.
In all phases of the voting process, ballot boxes were visible and accessible by observers; ballot boxes were sealed properly (in 98% of cases) and all the necessary materials were presented (in 98% of cases) underlining the high degree of transparency of the elections.
98% of CANEOM observers evaluated the overall conduct of polling stations as Good or Very Good. Typically, CANEOM observers did not experience any tension or unrest near polling stations. Observers were granted necessary cooperation from the PEC members. Moreover, almost every polling station had candidate or party observers, and half had either international or domestic observers. All polling stations visited were operational.
CIRCUMSTANCES INSIDE AND OUTSIDE POLLING STATIONS
Normally, ballot boxes were sealed properly and all necessary materials were present at polling stations allowing voters to get full information to select a candidate to vote for in a democratic way. CANEOM observers frequently commented on long lines and lack of necessary space. It is important to note that with high voter turnout in the vast majority of Ukraine came long lines;the desire of the Ukrainian people to successfully exercise their franchise is a reflection of their commitment to move Ukraine forward.
CANEOM observers observed that most PECs operated according to prescribed legal procedures and regulations. Usually, voters were not added to Voters Lists on Election Day, which is prohibited by the law. Furthermore, PECs did not deny the right to vote for inappropriate reasons. On every PEC voters without ID were not permitted to vote.
However, CANEOM observers identified isolated problems and irregularities across Ukraine, the most common of which were technical errors on voting lists. There were isolated instances of people being turned away because their names were not on the list or were misspelled.
Observers noted that PECs always checked the voter IDs and signed the ballot counterfoil. Moreover, as a rule, voters signed the voter list as well as the ballot counterfoils. In the vast majority of cases, CANEOM observers did not identify any attempts to influence voters in favor candidates.
12. THE CLOSING OF POLLS AND VOTE COUNT
Data was received for 60 out of 69 precinct polling stations visited by CANEOM observers to monitor the closing procedures and counting of ballots. As with earlier phases of Election Day, the overall impression of observers was overwhelmingly positive.
Polling stations closed on time and followed appropriate procedures for the tabulation of ballots. In all cases, the numbers of voters who received ballots and numbers of unused ballots was equal to numbers of ballots received by the visited PECs.
All ballots were pre-stamped, and the PECs were consistent and transparent in determining invalid ballots, generally because more than one candidate was marked or there was no marking at all. In some cases, the tabulation of results from parallel presidential and mayoral elections resulted in lengthy proceedings, for example in Odessa city polling station 511168, DEC136.
THE TABULATION OF RESULTS
CANEOM observers assessed and monitored the handover of ballots from PECs to DECs, including the transfer of election materials, processing the PEC data, reporting on situation in the DEC. In 93% of cases, CANEOM observers judged the handover process of results and election materials to be Good or Very Good.
A significant problem which caused delay in tabulation and handovers was the breakdown of the CEC server for data transfer from DECs to the CEC. This problem caused significant delays in submission and tabulation of results. Likely because of these dalays, observers noted higher stress and tension than was noted throught election day - during the tabulation process, and issues with overcrowding were oserved in 37.5% of observed DECs.
ABOUT THE CANEOM MISSION
At the invitation of the Ukrainian government, the Government of Canada organized a large independent international election observer mission to monitor Ukraine’s 2014 Early Presidential elections.
The Canadian Election Observation Missions (CANEOM) Mission to the 2014 Early Presidential Election in Ukraine is being led by Senator Raynell Andreychuk and former Ontario Premier Mike Harris.
Thirty-nine long-term observers (LTOs) arrived in Ukraine on 6 May. They underwent two days of training, and were deployed to the regions of Ukraine on 9 May. 104 short-term observers arrived in Ukraine on 19 May. They also undertook two days of training, and were deployed to the regions on 22 May. CANEOM has teams of observers in 23 oblasts of Ukraine and Kyiv city.
CANEOM is organized by the Forum of Federations. CUSO International and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress have partnered with CANEOM to provide support to the observation mission for Ukraine’s 2014 early presidential election.
The mission is funded by the Government of Canada. It is managed by an independent team of non-governmental professionals. CANEOM’s core team members for this mission have experience monitoring elections in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Lesotho, Mali, Mongolia and Ukraine.
MISSION OBSERVATION STANDARDS
The mission’s objectives are to observe, record and report on the electoral exercise, and to aggregate findings into a final report on whether the election results may be deemed to reflect the genuine democratic expression of the Ukrainian people.
Members of CANEOM’s core team for this mission have experience monitoring elections in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Georgia, Haiti, Indonesia, Lesotho, Mali, Mongolia and Ukraine, with additional democratic development experience in an even greater range of countries.
CANEOM will assess Ukraine’s electoral process in accordance with international standards, commitments and obligations for genuine democratic elections, including the OSCE’s Copenhagen Declaration of 1990 and other international human rights obligations. CANEOM subscribes to the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observers and Code of Conduct for International Election Observers that was commemorated at the United Nations on October 27, 2005, and endorsed by 42 intergovernmental and international organizations.
In all of our mission’s activities, CANEOM pledges to adhere to all domestic laws, and to respect the core election observation principles of impartiality and non-interference.
The 25 May Early Presidential Election has been held and on the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian territory have met international democratic standards. Notwithstanding the troubling violence in Luhansk and Donetsk, and the illegal annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory in Crimea the election is a clear and unambiguous reflection of the democratic will of the Ukrainian people. Improvements in the electoral law, a generally level playing field for all contestants, the general absence of abuse of administrative resources and relative lack of electoral violations combined with the inspiring commitment of the Ukrainian people to exercise their franchise lead CANEOM to conclude that this election not only meets international democratic standards but have the potential to become a major milestone on Ukraine’s long and difficult path to democracy.
*** The English version of this report is the only official version ***
 Presidential elections were scheduled for 2015.
 CEC Resolutions № 460 and 461 cancelled the registration of presidential candidates Natalia Korolevska and Oleh Tsariov based on receipt of their written applications to withdraw before the legal deadline of May 2.
 As part of amendments to the Presidential Election Law on May 20, the Verkhovna Rada also entitled DECs to increase the number of PEC members to 18 persons if it helped facilitate the administration of Election Day procedures. This marked the third amendment in three months to address the size of precinct election commissions, which runs contrary to international standards.
 Candidates Korolevska and Tsariov withdrew prior to the May 2 deadline. Shkiryak, Klymenko, Symonenko, Shushko announced that they are withdrawing their candidacy after the 2 May deadline.
 Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zaporizhzhia
 In order to provide adequate security the State Border Service, Ministry of Emergency Situations and Tax Police and civilian patrols were engaged to assist.
 Meeting with Andriy Chaliy, Head of Department of Mass Events, Ministry of Internal Affairs, 23 May
 Raised by the deputy chief of police in Khmelnytsk in a meeting with CANEOM LTOs. Similar issues were raised in Lviv.
 On 24 May the General Prosecutor of Ukraine reported that to date, 83 criminal proceedings have been opened related to impeding the election process in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
 Ukrainian citizens who receive social payments (pensions, etc), are registered as residing in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and who fled Crimea must register in their place of internal displacement with the Ministry of Social Policy in order to continue receiving social payments.
 Meeting with Minister of Social Policy Lyudmyla Denisova, 23 May 2021
1,483 registered in Kyiv city; 763 in Mykolaiv; 442 in Kyiv oblast
 The CEC partnered with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in training DEC Chairs, Deputies and Secretaries and certifying them to train PEC commissioners in each election district. This involved: 119 trainings for DEC members, 216 trainings for PEC members, and 211 trainings for PEC members conducted by DEC members. The CEC also collaborated with IFES to produce video tutorials on election procedures and with OSCE/ODIHR to produce written training materials and manuals for DEC and PEC members. The CEC also produced two public service announcements to mobilize voter turnout that ran on public television stations starting on the week of May 15.
 CANEOM observers confirmed the presence of armed militant groups and that some DECs and PECs were not operational in Krasnogorovka (PECs 140711, 140317) Mariinka (PECs 140309, 140310) and Donetsk City (DECs 42, 43) in the Donetsk oblast.
 Without exception and despite burdensome work schedules, DEC commissioners were also reported to accommodate questions from CANEOM observers and invite them to trainings and meetings.
 May 8 was the initial legal deadline for transfers of preliminary voter lists to PECs. At that time, the deadline was met in all but 19 PECs outside Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts. Amendments to the Law on the Election of the President on May 15 subsequently moved the deadline for these transfers to May 16.
 Article 35-1 of the Law on presidential election. Revisions can only be made also in cases of inaccuracies in the name or address of a voter as a result of visual or automated control errors as described in Part 1 of Article 20 of the Law of Ukraine “On the State Voter Register.”
 Section 2 of paragraph 2.5 of the CEC resolution “On the Procedure of Temporary Change of the Voting Place of a Voter without Changing his/her Election Address” № 893 of 13.09.2020 with amendments from 22.09.2012, 09.04.2021 and 15.05.2021
 The procedural irregularity noted most often was that the # of ballots received was not entered in the vote count protocol during the opening procedure in 15 of 75 cases.
 The only exceptions are PEC#510984 and PEC# 511117 (Odessa), PEC# 480095 (Mykolaiv), PEC# 231000 (Zaporizhia) where ballot boxes were not sealed properly and PEC# 350296 (Kirovohrad) where not all election materials were present.
 In only one PEC in Cherkassy Oblast did observers note a significant violation involving commission members pre-signing protocols before entering results.
 Cherkassy, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Dniepropetrovs`k, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Khmelnytskyj, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Luhansk, L’viv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Poltava, Rivne, Sumy, Ternopil, Vinnytsia, Volyn, Zaporizhia, Zhytomyr.