October 26, 2015
We congratulate the people of Ukraine for exercising their right to vote in yesterday’s local elections. Ukraine’s democracy remains resilient, despite facing difficult economic conditions and Russia’s actions in Ukraine, including the occupation of Crimea. According to initial reports from international observers, these elections largely reflected the will of the Ukrainian people and generally respected democratic process.
These local elections are an important step as Ukraine continues to move forward with difficult reforms to decentralize political power. We look forward to a successful second round of the elections on November 15 for those mayoral races in which a single candidate did not receive a majority of the votes. We further expect that those in Mariupol and other areas where voting could not take place to get a chance to exercise their franchise on November 15.
We also hope the citizens living in the conflict zone, internally displaced persons, and refugees will soon have the opportunity to exercise their right to choose their leaders, in compliance with Ukrainian law, OSCE standards and as called for in the Minsk agreements.