WASHINGTON, DC – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) will field a high-level international delegation of experts to observe Ukraine’s May 25 presidential and local elections.
The 26-member mission will be co-led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NDI’s chairman, and Ana Palacio, former foreign minister of Spain.
Other members of the delegation’s leadership group are former U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kaufman of Delaware; former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman of California, director, president and CEO of the Wilson Center; and Matyas Eorsi, former member of parliament from Hungary and former member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Kaufman and Eorsi were members of an NDI pre-election assessment mission that visited the country in early April.
Other members of the delegation include former government officials and ambassadors, as well as regional specialists and election experts. The delegation’s purpose is to demonstrate the international community’s continuing support for democratic processes in Ukraine.
NDI’s observers will have briefings in Kiev from candidates, election officials and representatives of political parties, civil society, the media and the international community. After the briefings, teams of observers will deploy to locations around the country, where they will meet with local electoral authorities, party and media representatives, and domestic election monitors to assess the electoral environment.
On election day, the NDI observers will visit polling stations and counting centers in their respective districts. They will then return to Kiev for debriefing and to prepare a preliminary statement, which will be released at a press conference on Monday, May 26.
The NDI mission will conduct its activities in a nonpartisan manner in accordance with Ukrainian law and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.
The Institute has been working in Ukraine since 1992 and has collaborated with citizen monitoring groups to observe every major election there since 1994.
NDI is currently partnering with Opora, Ukraine’s largest national nonpartisan citizen monitoring group, which is conducting a parallel vote tabulation (PVT) for the May 25 polls. A PVT is a citizens’ tool for independently verifying election results. Opora is fielding 150 long-term observers and 2,000 observers on election day.
NDI also supports the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO), a coalition of the leading nonpartisan citizen monitoring groups in the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. ENEMO will have 50 long-term observers and an additional 300 observers on election day.
The NDI mission is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.