The local elections held in Ukraine on Sunday are another important step in the consolidation of the country's democratic governance, following the presidential and parliamentary elections of last year.
As stated in the OSCE/ODIHR's preliminary report, the elections were competitive, well organized overall and the campaign generally showed respect for the democratic process. Nevertheless, additional efforts are needed to further enhance the integrity of and public confidence in the electoral process.
The observers stressed that the elections took place in a challenging political, economic, humanitarian and security environment, characterized by the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation and the temporary control of parts of the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions by illegal armed groups. This made it impossible for more than 5 million voters in these areas to vote.
The holding of elections was not possible for security reasons in some government-controlled territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Additionally, elections were not held in Mariupol, Krasnoarmiisk and Svatove. Elections in these cities should be held as a matter of priority to ensure citizens can also exercise their voting rights.