OSCE ODIHR plans to monitor Donbass elections

Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), speaking at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly annual Winter Meeting, reiterated the importance of "an effective, cooperative effort in observing local elections agreed for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine."

Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), speaking at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly annual Winter Meeting, reiterated the importance of "an effective, cooperative effort in observing local elections agreed for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine."

"The agreement reached in Minsk foresees the observation of these elections to ensure they are in line with OSCE standards and Ukrainian legislation as an important part of helping resolve the conflict," Link was quoted as saying by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe website.

"A broad international effort in observing the elections will make this more effective, and it is my hope that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will join our planned observation by sending parliamentarians as short-term observers," he said.

The OSCE ODIHR director also reaffirmed the need to provide a secure environment for election observers and said that "preliminary planning for such a mission was already underway."

The Trilateral Contact Group for Ukraine signed a 12-point set of measures after talks in the Belarusian capital Minsk on February 12. The document says that local elections should be held in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in accordance with Ukraine's law granting temporary "self-rule" status to certain districts of these regions. The document also asks the OSCE ODIHR to monitor the polls.

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