Washington, DC – IRI today announced it will monitor Ukraine’s February 7, 2010 presidential runoff 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. 

A delegation sponsored by IRI will be led by David Kramer, former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund.  Other delegates are Gahl Hodges Burt, IRI Board Member; Geoffrey Connor, attorney at Jackson Walker L.L.P; Nadia Diuk, Vice President, Programs for Europe and Eurasia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean at the National Endowment for Democracy; Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs; Marek Matraszek, creator of CEC Government Relations; Anita McBride, former Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush; Stephan Minikes, former Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna; Brad Smith, congressional staff member; and Grace Warnecke, former Country Director for Winrock International in Ukraine and a trustee of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.

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 Ukraineelection 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 Thomas Garrett, Vice President for Programs at 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, 2004 and first round 2010 presidential elections.   

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