ODIHR to invite all member states, including Russia, to send their STOs to Ukraine
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) will send invitations to all its member states, including Russia, to send their short-term observers (STOs) to monitor the elections in Ukraine in 2019, Thomas Rymer, spokesman for the OSCE/ODIHR, has said.
"The ODIHR adheres to the same established practices and methodology for the presidential elections in Ukraine as for all of its other election observation missions. In this regard, we will send invitations to all the 56 OSCE member states to provide STOs for the [Ukraine election observation] mission (EOM)," he told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency on Monday.
As earlier reported, on February 6, 2019, the OSCE/ODIHR EOM's chief of staff, Ambassador Peter Tejler, said that on February 11, a team of observers will arrive in Ukraine to work on a long-term basis, and on March 30, short-term observers will come in big numbers.
"Based on the findings of a needs assessment mission, we have received applications from 92 persons to work as long-term observers... The needs assessment mission recommended deploying 750 short-term observers," he said.
In addition, members from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly will arrive before the election day.
On February 7, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a law banning Russian nationals and persons suggested by the Russian party to serve as official observers in the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine.
According to the law, a citizen (subject) of a state, which is recognized by the Verkhovna Rada as an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an official observer from foreign states and international organizations. In addition, the person suggested by an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an observer.