This preliminary statement is offered by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) election observer delegation to Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election. The delegation included observers from nine countries and was led by former Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor (U.S.), former Director of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) Audrey Glover (U.K.), and former Minister for European Union Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson (Sweden). This statement builds on the findings of four long-term analysts and the ongoing work of NDI’s office in Ukraine, as well as the joint NDI and European Parliament pre-election assessment delegation statement issued in November 2018.1
The aims of NDI’s election observation mission were to accurately and impartially assess various aspects of the election process, and to offer recommendations to support peaceful, credible elections and public confidence in the process. The Institute has undertaken its mission in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, its accompanying Code of Conduct for International Election Observers, and Ukrainian law. The delegation would like to stress that this statement is preliminary in nature. The official results are not yet finalized, and any electoral complaints that may be lodged are yet to be adjudicated. NDI will continue to monitor electoral processes, will observe the second round scheduled for April 21, and will issue further statements. The delegation recognizes that it is the people of Ukraine who will ultimately determine the credibility and legitimacy of their election.