Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, head of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) limited election observation mission, said this during an online press conference of international observers from ODIHR, where they will present their preliminary findings on the results of local elections in Ukraine.
"In the limited number of polling stations visited by representatives of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the voting process was generally calm, well-organized and transparent, and prescribed procedures were mostly followed," she said.
According to Gísladóttir, these elections were especially important because of the transfer of significant powers and resources to local governments. "We noted how this decentralization process increased the stakes for the political actors, and I hope that the elected local officials will use their substantial powers for the benefit of the people they serve,” she said.
Contestants were able to campaign freely, but cases of abuse of state resources and of office, as well as widespread allegations of vote-buying, were of concern.
“The elections were administered professionally and efficiently despite challenges posed by the pandemic and remaining shortcomings in the election laws,” she added.
Local elections were held in Ukraine on October 25.
According to the Central Election Commission, the voter turnout in Ukraine was 36.88%.
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