KIEV, April 1. /TASS/. Members of the OSCE ODIHR Election Observation Mission to Ukraine’s presidential election have confirmed the misuse of state resources by presidential candidates, the mission’s statement on preliminary findings and conclusions informs.
"The 31 March 2019 presidential election in Ukraine was competitive, voters had a broad choice and turned out in high numbers. <…> Fundamental freedoms were generally respected. Candidates could campaign freely; yet, numerous and credible indications of misuse of state resources and vote-buying undermined the credibility of the process," the document stated.
The mission also noted the work of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission. "The Central Election Commission (CEC) operated collegially overall and met all legal deadlines. It held regular open sessions but also systematically conducted preliminary meetings before sessions, a practice which decreased the transparency of its work," the report claimed.
Head of the OSCE ODIHR mission in Ukraine Peter Tejler informed during a press conference in Kiev that the mission would remain in Ukraine and continue observing the electoral process until the end of the run-off scheduled for April 21.
The first round of Ukraine’s presidential election was held on Sunday, March 31. The country's Central Election Commission earlier said that none of the candidates had been able to secure the majority of votes in the first round. The runoff is scheduled for April 21.
Most experts say head of the Servant of the People party Vladimir Zelensky and incumbent head of state Pyotr Poroshenko will contest the presidency.