Former Wisconsin Congressman Oversees Ukrainian Elections
By Jennifer Wilson
Sunday morning, Ukrainians will wake up and head to the polls to vote for a new leader, though officials worry pro-Russian rebels may try to prevent voting in at least half of Ukraine’s districts.
Former Wisconsin congressman and current president of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Ambassador Mark Green is leading a delegation to help monitor polling places throughout Ukraine. Alongside Madeleine Albright who is leading a team with the National Democratic Institute.
In 1998, Wisconsin voters chose Mark Green to represent the 8th district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Today, 14 years later and half way around the world, Ambassador Mark Green hopes for another election victory.
“When you come to a place like Ukraine and you see this election process its deeply humbling,” Ambassador Green tells us by phone from Ukraine.
He is leading a delegation of two dozen people from the International Republican Institute and 4700 Ukrainians they helped train to observe tomorrow’s presidential election.
“There certainly is nervousness in the Eastern part of the country where the separatist forces from Russia are really trying to cause trouble, but here in Kiev people are excited about the elections,” Green tells us. “As you know in recent months some of them put their lives on the line for this day, so they’re bound and determined to see it through.”
Today, election observers deployed to thousands of polling places throughout the country.
Tomorrow they’ll watch and report what they see.
“We’ll be constantly checking in with our observers throughout the day to make sure that they’re safe and secure.”
Hoping and praying…
“That these elections will come off safely and in a way that we can all put faith in and believe are credible and upon which they can build their foundation for the future,” says Green.
On this election day, it doesn’t matter which candidate wins. As long as the people are free to choose.
“It’s humbling and it’s inspiring at the same time,” he says.
IRI and NDI delegations will submit a report to the election commission, then release a statement on whether they feel the Ukrainian people were free to vote or intimidated at the polling places.
Action Two News will be in touch with the Ambassador over the next two days and bring you updates as we receive them.