COLUMN A clash of observations John Löwenhardt 1 In late December 2004 an unprecedented number of election observers descended upon Ukraine. They came to monitor the re-run of the second round Presidential elections. Within hours after the closing of the polls on 21 November, Ukrainians had taken to the streets to protest against widespread falsifications. They refused to accept the results announced by the Central Electoral Commission which had declared prime minister Viktor Yanukovich the winner. And they were strengthened in their resolve by the preliminary findings of the OSCE ’s election monitoring mission. Regular flights to Kyiv were fully booked. Observers from Canada and The Netherlands had to be flown in on charter planes, the Italians arrived in a military aircraft. The 1,088 OSCE observers, whose mission was organised by the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights ( ODIHR ), were in fact a small minority among the monitoring masses. At least 10,000 more had been sent to Ukraine by various institutions and governments: the parliamentary assemblies of the OSCE , the Council of Europe, and NATO ; the European Parliament; the CIS (900); the European Network of Election Monitoring Organisations ENEMO (over 1,000); the US
Helsinki Monitor (in 2008 continued as Security and Human Rights) – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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