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IRI Deploys Election Observation Mission for Ukraine Election: Cindy McCain to Lead Delegation

March 26, 2019

Kyiv, Ukraine—The International Republican Institute (IRI) announces the arrival of the international election observation delegation to observe Ukraine’s presidential election on March 31. 

Cindy McCain, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the McCain Institute for International Leadership and Dr. Daniel Twining, President of IRI, will co-lead the delegation.

“It is a great honor to have the chance to observe these momentous elections at such an important time in the history of Ukrainian democracy,” said McCain. “The people of Ukraine who have long fought for their freedom were very special to my husband. He believed deeply in the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its destiny. I look forward to the opportunity to engage with the Ukrainian people and electoral stakeholders in the days to come.”

The 25 observers include current members of parliament, former U.S. Congressmen, and senior IRI leadership. The delegation will review all phases of the electoral process, also taking into consideration observations made by IRI’s long-term observers, who will be deployed for an eight-week period covering the first round of the elections on March 31 and a possible second round on April 21.

“Five years after Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine has come a long way on its democratic consolidation—pursuing tough but much-needed reforms and making significant progress, particularly at the local level,” said Twining. “A free and fair election will be crucial to ensuring that the country remains on a path of reforms and becomes a resilient, self-reliant democracy.”

The following is a full list of delegates participating in IRI’s election observation mission:

  • Cindy McCain, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State;
  • Daniel Twining, President, International Republican Institute;
  • Gahl Burt, Chairman, American Academy in Berlin and Board Member, International Republican Institute;
  • Paul Fagan, Director of Human Rights and Democracy, McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State;
  • Mike Kostiw, Senior Vice President, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, AECOM;
  • Frank LaRose, Secretary of State, Ohio;
  • Tami Longaberger, Board Member, International Republican Institute;
  • Žygimantas Pavilionis, Member of Parliament, Lithuania;
  • Peter Roskam, Former U.S. Representative and Former Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership;
  • Olin Wethington, Founder and Chairman, Wethington International, LLC. and Board Member, International Republican Institute.

Since its founding in 1983, IRI has monitored more than 220 elections in more than 59 countries, including Ukraine’s 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2012 and 2014 parliamentary elections and the 1999, 2004, 2010, 2012 and 2014 presidential elections.

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IRI in Ukraine

IRI opened its first Ukrainian office in 1994. Today, our Ukraine program is the largest in the Eurasia division and one of the largest initiatives at IRI, conducting programs throughout the country to strengthen multiparty democracy, support local government reforms and the decentralization process, to close the gap between politicians and constituents and to empower the next generation of Ukrainian leaders.  

About the International Republican Institute

IRI is at the forefront of providing global democracy assistance. Our nonpartisan, nongovernmental Institute links people with their government, guides politicians to be responsive to citizens and motivates people to engage in the political process. IRI has performed high-impact work in more than 100 countries since 1983 and currently has offices 40 countries worldwide. Visit IRI.org to learn more.