Ukraine Holds First Oblast Election Since Orange Revolution

From: New Government, New Opportunities
Published: Tue Jul 12 2005

Ukraine's newly installed government held its first Oblast elections since the Orange Revolution, the event that captured the world's imagination in 2004. The local elections in the Bashtanka & Ochakiv districts for council seats in the Mykolayiv Oblast were important indicators of a promised new and transparent election system.

To promote the day and raise political and social awareness, a coalition of oblast social organizations arranged for live television coverage in both villages that allowed all local citizens to see their
electoral system at work. This type of coverage was unprecedented in the country.

The Oblast Governor Oleksandr Sadykov expressed his satisfaction with the results. "The winner of the election was not our main concern. What was most important was for us to demonstrate to the people that voters will be fully represented and that every vote will be counted. I am happy to say that the day was a great success."

Volunteers from across the Oblast collaborated on the event with tasks ranging from answering the telephones to posting a minute-by-minute online report. As a reflection of the various interests involved, volunteers held views that covered the political spectrum, not all supporting the current administration.

"The idea for the telethon came up during a discussion of the transparency of the election process. Officials talk about transparency but when the electoral process starts, they seem to forget about it." Said Mark Gres, a volunteer as well as the creator and head of the telethon. "The Press Secretary of the Oblast Governor, Gleb Golovchenko was approached and it took off from there. Since then we’ve enlisted a large number of enthusiastic volunteers dedicated to the idea of bringing to Ukraine the standards of elections enjoyed by Europe."

Oblast Governor Oleksandr Sadykov expressed his feelings concerning the results of a successful election. "It is important that the world sees that we are fully committed to reform. This is only one step of many to come."

"New Government, New Opportunities" is a coalition of Mykolayiv Oblast, non governmental organizations dedicated to democracy in Ukraine.
Company: New Government, New Opportunities
Contact Name: Bruce Bridges
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Contact Phone: 0633089953