NEW YORK – On Sunday, October 25, the citizens of Ukraine will be casting ballots for local legislators throughout the country. Held under a new electoral law, whereby the role of local officials has been significantly enhanced due to recent decentralization reforms, the election is for deputies of district councils, rural township and city mayors.
In light of the upcoming local elections, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), together with the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), is seeking volunteers to serve as international election observers. Given the worldwide pandemic and various travel restrictions, the Election Observation Mission (EOM) will rely mainly on expats already residing in Ukraine.
In an effort to cover as much territory as possible, UCCA will coordinate its efforts with the UWC; the EOM will be co-chaired by both organizations. UCCA President Andriy Futey and Borys Wrzesnewskyj, former member of the Canadian Parliament, will co-chair the effort. Tamara Olexy, UWC regional vice-president and UCCA executive director, will serve as mission coordinator. Long-time UCCA international election monitor Reno Domenico will serve as the UCCA’s chief observer, and Natalia Nemyliwska, director of the UWC’s Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee, will serve as UWC chief observer.
What makes this joint UCCA/UWC EOM unique is that it is made up of all volunteers – individuals who are committed to Ukraine’s democratic progress and who cover all their expenses related to their participation in the mission.
The EOM will hold a mandatory (virtual) training session for its observers prior to the elections. The briefing will include instruction on how to operate the UCCA’s online election assessment form – the only one of its kind; provide a special seminar on hostile environment training; review the newly adopted election law and COVID-related safety protocols; and provide tips on how best to serve as international election monitors.
The UCCA/UWC program will also coordinate in-country travel and lodging, translators and guides if necessary, and provide official CEC accreditation and comprehensive informational packets. International election observer volunteers will be responsible for all costs associated with their participation in the mission.