Accountability Needed in the Aftermath of Ukrainian Elections

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) emphasize that a precondition for a re-run of the second round of the presidential elections must be that those responsible for violations be replaced. That concerns primarily electoral commissions, members of the Government, prokuratura officials, and regional governors. It is also crucial that the well-documented massive electoral fraud be properly investigated and those responsible brought to justice.

Our organizations insist that the core of the matter is neither geopolitical, nor regional cultural differences. It is the fundamental right of the citizens to choose their government through free and fair elections. A political solution might in the end be found to avoid further conflict, which could otherwise cripple the country. But allegations of massive electoral violations throughout the campaign and during both election rounds cannot be ignored.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and the IHF have followed the Ukrainian elections from the beginning of the campaign. We have documented that the entire campaign was marred by massive violations of the Ukrainian legislation, as well as of international accords to which Ukraine is a party. We demanded early on that violations, in particular denial of equal access to nationwide media, be brought to an end. Similar appeals were made by international organizations, of which Ukraine is a member, and by numerous governments. The Ukrainian government chose to ignore them. The elections themselves have been deemed by major international organizations as neither free nor fair. Only an unprecedented show of civic courage by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators has averted that a rigged election was allowed to pass.

We appeal to the courts of Ukraine to act as an independent and responsible judicial power in the State, and to the authorities to use their powers to prevent that fraud, rather than the will of the people, decides Ukraine’s future.

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