Washington, DC – IRI today announced it will monitor Ukraine’s January 17, 2010 presidential election.  Delegates will travel to Ukraine to monitor voting and ballot counting throughout the country.  Following the voting, IRI will issue a statement on the findings of the delegation.  If the election goes to a second round, IRI will field a delegation for the February 7 election.

A delegation sponsored by IRI will be led by former U.S. Congressman Jim Kolbe, a member of IRI’s Board of Directors.  Other delegates are Ron Ebensteiner, former Chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party; Charlie Greenleaf, former White House Advisor and Vice President of Michigan State University; Marik Angelo Frens-String, foreign affairs expert; Rich Galen, former Communications Director for Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; Barry Jackson, former White House Political Director and Senior Advisor to the President; Bill Nojay, attorney at Hiscock & Barclay in Rochester, New York; Zygimontas Pavilionis, Diplomatic Service Member of the Foreign Ministry of Lithuania; and Bill Phillips, a public relations specialist.

Prior to the elections, delegates will be briefed by representatives from the U.S. Embassy, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission, international and Ukrainian nongovernmental organizations, political parties, and representatives of the media.  They will also be briefed on the rights and responsibilities of international observers and Ukraine election law.  Delegates will then be deployed throughout the country where they will monitor polling stations and identify and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in Ukraine’s election system, including campaign regulations, the balloting process, vote tabulation and reporting.

IRI staff will also serve as observers and assist in the mission.  IRI staff will be led by Judy Van Rest, Executive Vice President of IRI, Stephen B. Nix, Regional Director for IRI’s Eurasia division and Chris Holzen, Resident Country Director for IRI in Ukraine.

Since 1993, IRI has worked to help strengthen political parties and good governance in Ukraine at both national and local levels.  IRI also works with youth, women and civil society to increase their participation in the political process.  IRI monitored Ukraine’s 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2007 parliamentary elections.  In addition, IRI monitored the country’s 1999 and 2004 presidential elections.

Up ArrowTop