January 19, 2010
The Orange Revolution’s Legacy
KYIV – Edmonton East Member of Parliament Peter Goldring says the first round of the 2010 presidential election in Ukraine was “conducted in a free and fair manner and the results reflect the will of the people.”
Mr. Goldring says the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution,’ that saw many hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians take to the streets in protest because of massive electoral fraud, has resulted now in election fairness in Ukraine.
“Those who say the ‘Orange Revolution’ was a failure are plain and simply wrong,” Mr. Goldring explains. “The essence and main political gain in Ukraine’s democratic evolution was born in the ‘Revolution’ and lives on stronger than ever. The ‘Revolution’ was all about revolting against those that would cheat, those that would effectively take away the citizens of Ukraine’s right to have their voices heard, to have their ballots count. Today that process and integrity is being maintained.
“The electoral process in Ukraine is no longer systemically fraudulent. The ‘Orange Revolution’ instilled upon all of the citizens of Ukraine the fact that the integrity of the electoral process is meaningful and has real true purpose. With world support, through the ‘Orange Revolution’ the people of Ukraine actually learned how to appreciate the integrity of a fair and true election process and they’ve strived to show to the world that they certainly want to and can maintain it since.”
Peter Goldring was in Ukraine for the preliminary round of voting on January 17, 2010, as a member of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) election observation team. The OSCE said the first round of the 2010 Ukraine presidential election was “of high quality and showed significant progress over previous elections.”
“While certainly there is disappointment of favourites not being successful, the candidates offered differing visions of Ukraine’s future and how they would lead, but there doesn’t seem to be the polarization, the ‘us versus them’ mentality of the last presidential election,” Mr. Goldring states. “There will however still be ample reasons to be particularly vigilant for monitoring the run-off presidential election on February 7, 2010.”
Peter Goldring served as a Canadian government representative with the OSCE team observing the polls in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, 500 kilometres east of Kyiv, close to the Russian border. It was his fifth time as an election observer in Ukraine. He has also served as an election monitor in Albania, Georgia (twice), Guyana and Haiti.