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Former U.S. Congressmen visit Ukraine - March 2006 Delegation

2004 Delegations:  July  |   August  |   September  |   October  |   November  |   December
2006 Delegations:  February  |   March

As part of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's 2006 Parliamentary Elections Project, a delegation of nine former U.S. Congressmen and a former member of the European Parliament traveled to Ukraine to observe pre-election day preparations, the voting process, and vote count in the Cherkasy, Kherson and Donetsk oblasts.  The delegation consisted of Peter Barca (D-WI), Jim Bates (D-CA), Lawrence DeNardis (R-CT), Jay Dickey (R-AR), Allen Ertel (D-PA), James William Grant (R-FL), Dennis Hertel (D-MI), Lawrence Hogan (R-MD), Joseph Wyatt (D-TX), and Mathilde van den Brink from the Netherlands.  Their visit was sponsored by the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) in partnership with the United States Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC) and the European Parliament Former Members Association, and with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This was the second delegation to travel to Ukraine; the first came in February to observe the campaign process in the Kharkiv oblast.

In Kyiv, the delegation met with Mykola Melnyk, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission, U.S. Ambassador John Herbst, Roman Bezsmertny, campaign manager for Our Ukraine, and Yevhen Kushnariov, campaign manager for the Party of Regions.  They were also briefed on the election law and observation process by Yarema Bachynsky, Chief of Party of the Strengthening Electoral Administration in Ukraine Project (SEAUP).

The delegation divided into three groups and, accompanied by USUF staff, traveled to Cherkasy, Kherson and Donetsk.  There they had the opportunity to visit numerous polling stations to survey their readiness for election day, meet with representatives of the media, local administration and political parties, and attend a session of the city council.  On election day, the delegation visited election commissions in Cherkasy, Smila, and Zolotonosha in the Cherkasy oblast; Beryslav, Bilozerka, Hola Prystan, Kherson, Nova Kakhovka, and Tsiurupynsk, in the Kherson oblast; and Kirovske and Yenakievo in the Donetsk oblast. 

Upon their return to Kyiv, the delegates met with Ambassador Herbst to provide an overview of their impressions on the election process.  Afterwards, delegates from the Democratic Party had the opportunity to discuss the parliamentary elections in Ukraine and mid-term elections in the U.S. at a luncheon hosted by the Democrats Abroad in Ukraine.

 

March observers with Mykola Melnyk, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission
Delegates and USUF staff meet with Mykola Melnyk, Deputy Chairman of the Central Election Commission


Delegates and USUF staff meet with Roman Bezsmertny, campaign manager for Our Ukraine


Delegates and USUF staff meet with Yevhen Kushnariov, campaign manager for the Party of Regions


Delegates meet with representatives of the local media and political parties in Kherson


A polling station in Kherson


Jay Dickey and Bill Grant with members of an election commission in Kherson


Delegates and USUF staff in Kherson

 

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