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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
January 19, 2010


KYIV,UKRAINE--U.S. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), released the following statement after observing the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday in Kyiv.

As deputy head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly election observation mission in Ukraine, Rep. Hastings this week helped lead one of the largest election observations to any former Soviet country. He previously served as an election observer in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution in 2004 and led the OSCE observer mission to the 2006 parliamentary elections.

"Sunday's Ukrainian presidential elections were run fairly and were an improvement on the last two major elections I observed here in 2004 and 2006.

"Several campaigns’ claims against opponents of fraud appeared unfounded come Election Day.

"The fact voters truly did not know who would win this election tells us democracy is thriving in Ukraine. The people have a real choice in this country. The candidates display a healthy competition and are able to freely engage with the citizens.

"I was glad to see new voters added to registration lists and granted ballots through a fair and swift non-partisan process Sunday. Unfortunately, the country's incomplete and unclear election law left poll workers without a uniform standard to handle new registrants and led some people to be denied the vote.

"Despite the need to address the election law and certain aspects of candidates paying for coverage in the country's pluralistic media, the Ukrainian people should be very proud of their democratic development. This election met international standards.

"Regardless of the outcome in Ukraine's runoff election, I look forward to the United States continuing our engagement with this important country, and I hope the Ukrainian people will continue to play an active role in their young democracy."
Media Contact: Neil Simon
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