International Experts Outline Key Steps Ukraine Must Undertake to Ensure Clean Elections in 2019
On November 8, 2018, Atlantic Council published an article headlined “Three Things Ukraine Must Do Now If It Wants Clean Elections Next Year”. The article, authored by Brian Mefford, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, highlights three things Ukraine must do to ensure clean presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019.
The article welcomes the renewal of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and underlines that the election management body has three big tasks ahead of the 2019 elections. First, the CEC must initiate a modernization of its own structures and secretariat, and institute a change of culture toward service provision. There is a clear need for the Commission to rebuild public trust lost during the Yanukovych era. This could be done by establishing an expert council to advise the Commission and increase the overall transparency of the CEC’s decision-making processes.
The second task would be to establish regional offices of the Secretariat. If implemented properly, regional branches would give the CEC an opportunity to closely monitor the situation in the field and combat the rampant electoral injustice which is often prevalent at the local level. Thirdly, the Commission should continue to boost its cybersecurity and ability to counter cyberattacks. In the upcoming 2019 elections the threat of the cyberattacks aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country is evident – and the CEC needs to be in the forefront of that battle.
Finally, the author acknowledges the difficulties the CEC may encounter and underlines that in these trying times both international and national stakeholders pledge strong support to the institution.
On November 15, 2018, the Atlantic Council also published an article headlined “How We are Exposing Foreign Interference in Ukraine’s Elections”. The author of the article John E. Herbst, former US Ambassador to Ukraine (2003-2006), examines the interference of foreign states in Ukraine and calls for concerted measures by the Ukrainian government and its international friends to counter any outside attempts to influence the vote.