OSCE Chairman-in-Office congratulates Ukrainian people on conduct of presidential election


SOFIA, 29 December 2004 - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passy, has congratulated the Ukrainian people on the conduct of the repeat second round of the presidential election held on 26 December, in anticipation of the final official results.

He noted with satisfaction the preliminary findings of the International Election Observation Mission, led by the OSCE, which found a marked improvement in the electoral process, including fairer campaign conditions, a more transparent electoral administration, and more balanced media coverage.

Minister Passy thanked the team of observers, the largest ever deployed by the OSCE, for their commitment and professionalism.

"The significance and importance of the ballot was reflected in the high turnout and the determination to move towards a genuinely representative election," said the Chairman-in-Office. "This demonstrates the democratic responsibility and will of all parties, as well as the wisdom of the Ukrainian people in avoiding violence."

Minister Passy acknowledged the role of the international mediators, including his representative, OSCE Secretary General Jan Kubis, in addressing the difficult political situation in the country following the disputed second round of the presidential election on 21 November.

"The repeat second round on 26 December showed the resolve of the Ukrainian people to let democracy prevail," said the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. "I wish the Ukrainian people to reunite after the elections in order to build a democratic and prosperous future for the country."