Friday, January 15, 2010

Quality of Election Administration, Part 4

The campaign moratorium begins tomorrow (Saturday), and campaigns are lobbing their final barbs at one another, and holding rallies tonight. The Yanukovych affair is a few blocks away from my apartment at the square outside St. Sophia's. It features a full menu of Ukrainian pop music that I do not enjoy (to be fair, some Ukrainian acts are quite good, but they are not at this gig), and a brief speech from the candidate. His performance on last night's Shuster program was lackluster and a bit unfocused. He has been on message during the campaign, but seems more comfortable with prepared texts.

Earlier today, I attended a press conference from the major Ukrainian NGO the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. The CVU has been at the forefront of training election workers and monitoring election administration. The basic message was that the quality of election administration and the campaign has shown substantial progress and massive, systematic fraud is unlikely. Rather, the bigger problems are inadequate financing of the election, lack of professionalism among some lower-level electoral commissions, and the overly political character of decisions coming from the CEC.

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