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STRASBOURG, May 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will dispatch 42 observers to the Ukraine’s highly controversial early presidential election, which the incumbent authorities in Kiev plan holding May 25 despite an ongoing armed punitive operation against supporters of federalization in the eastern regions of the country.
The delegation will stay in Ukraine from May 23 through to May 26 and its members will watch the progress of voting together with members of the parliamentary assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Parliament, the NATO parliamentary assembly and the OSCE Office for Human Rights and Democratic Institutions, a statement issued by PACE said.
May 25, PACE members will meet with presidential candidates, officials of the Central Electoral Commission, civic society activists and mass media executives.
Members of the Venice Commission, an independent expert agency of the Council of Europe in the field of legislation, will give support to the observers during the visit.PACE pre-electoral monitoring mission visited Ukraine at the end of April. Its members stated then that a whole range of important issues were looming large.
In part, they pointed to the imposition of restrictions on financing the candidates programs and the considerable degree of control the Ukrainian oligarchs had over the mass media and the system of state administration.
The delegation also noted the attempts to undermine the freedom of mass media and to keep journalists in check. In spite of that, it urged the Ukrainians to take part in the allegedly democratic and decent election so as to establish a legitimate political authority in the country.