The 48-year-old Petro Poroshenko, who has promised to sell off most of his vast business empire and focus on governing, was elected. He is expected to juggle a number of urgent issues that have plunged Ukraine into crisis — ending the fighting that has uprooted thousands of frightened civilians, bringing transparency and honesty to government and getting the faltering economy moving.
Despite the challenging environment 25 May early presidential election in Ukraine was characterized by high turnout and a clear resolve by the authorities to hold what was “a genuine election” largely in line with international commitments and that respected fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country, international observers concluded in a preliminary statement released today.
ODIHR deployed more than 1,000 observers, from 49 countries, to monitor the process on election day. Based on their reports, those voters who had the opportunity to cast ballots took part in a process that was largely in line with international commitments and respectful of fundamental freedoms. Sweden had 36 observers in the OSCE-ODIHR election observation mission in Ukraine.
While the election administration ran the process impartially and transparently on the whole, some decisions taken may have been beyond its authority. While voting was largely conducted in line with procedures, there were long queues to vote in some parts of the country, and there were some technical problems in the early stages of the tabulation process. The election did not take place in the Crimean Peninsula, which is not under the control of the Ukrainian authorities, and Ukrainian citizens living there faced serious difficulties in participating in the election.
“This election proved the democratic spirit of the people of Ukraine, who had the opportunity to genuinely express their will at the ballot box, and seized it in high numbers,” said João Soares, the Special Co-ordinator who led the short-term OSCE observer mission. “The electoral and security authorities of Ukraine should be commended for their efforts – under extraordinary circumstances – to facilitate an election that largely upheld democratic commitments.”
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt´s own words are another way to maesure “a very clear verdict” But,.Mr Bildt don´t think the Russians were particularly happy about this particular election, but it has taken place, and it has created ..a very clear verdict, says Swedish Foreign Minister interviewed by CNN Christiane Amanpour.
After a credible election that will strengthen Ukraine’s government with a broadly supported president, Russia is likely to continue its subversion by proxy in southeast Ukraine.
In an Joint statement by President Van Rompuy and President Barroso on the Presidential elections in Ukraine: The EU welcomes the holding yesterday of Presidential elections in Ukraine and look forward to working closely together with the next President. The EU also confirmed its readiness to continue to assist Ukraine in view of ensuring the political and economic stability of Ukraine.
The successful holding of these elections constitutes a major step towards the objective of de-escalating tensions and restoring security for all Ukrainians.
We count on the continued commitment of all parties to the Geneva Joint Statement to the electoral process and to its outcome, and welcome statements by the Russian Federation indicating that it will respect the will of the Ukrainian people and engage in a dialogue with the new Ukrainian President.
We look forward to further concrete steps on this constructive path, including the use of leverage on armed groups to de-escalate the situation on the ground.
Ukraine and its people now need peace and stability in order to engage in the implementation of much needed and far-reaching reforms. Over the past few months the Ukrainian authorities have made important efforts to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and fulfil the first-phase requirements of EU visa liberalisation dialogue. EU data available show that Ukraine’s path towards visa liberalisation is moving ahead.
The enhanced mobility of citizens in a secure and well-managed environment is one of the core objectives of the Eastern Partnership. To this end, the EU carries out Visa Liberalisation Dialogues with interested partner countries.
The main tool of The EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Dialogue is the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan which is tailor-made for each partner country and structured around four blocks concerning
i) document security, including biometrics;
ii) integrated border management, migration management, asylum;
iii) public order and security; and
iv) external relations and fundamental rights.
The Action plan contains two tiers of benchmarks: first phase benchmarks concerning the overall policy framework (legislation and institutions), which are to pave the way for the second phase benchmarks relating to effective and sustainable implementation of the relevant measures.
On 23 May 2014 Commissioner Malmström welcomes progress in the visa liberalisation process with Ukraine. Over the past few months the Ukrainian authorities have made important efforts to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and fulfil the first-phase requirements of EU-Ukraine Visa Liberalisation Dialogue.
“I can already say that on the basis of our analysis, the legislation passed and other measures adopted are sufficient to consider that Ukraine has been able to meet the first stage benchmarks of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan and I suggest to my colleagues in the Commission that we move to the 2nd phase, where we will be checking the implementation of all these rules. This assessment will be reflected in the Commission’s next report, which is to be adopted shortly; said Commissioner Malmström
This is a significant achievement, an important step in the process that will bring the country closer to its goal of visa free regime with the EU. But the hard work is not over. Ukraine will need to demonstrate that all these four blocks and rules are thoroughly implemented.
The Commission will continue to provide assistance with a view to ensure a concrete and comprehensive track record of the implementation”, said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs in STATEMENT Brussels, 23 May 2014.