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Former U.S. Congressmen visit Ukraine - October Delegation

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

From October 17-23, 2004 a delegation of five former U.S. Congressmen and one former Member of the European Parliament visited Kyiv and cities throughout the Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts to observe the election process in Ukraine.  The delegation consisted of Jim Bilbray (D-NV), Sam Coppersmith (D-AZ) Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-PA), Bob McEwen (R-OH), Jim Slattery (D-KS), and Richard Balfe (UK).

Members of the delegation attend a session of the Territorial Election Commission in Pryluky
Pryluky TEC
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 with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The delegation was accompanied by Cliff Downen, Christina Redko, and Marko Serbinsky of USUF.

This was the fourth delegation to visit Ukraine in the months leading up to the first round of presidential elections on October 31, 2004. This project demonstrates USUF's unique involvement in Ukraine, as we are one of the few organizations focusing on the entire election process throughout the period of the campaign.

During their first full day in Kyiv, the delegation met with representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Election Observer Mission (OSCE/ODIHR), presidential candidate Anatoliy Kinakh, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy, including Ambassador Herbst.

Jim Bilbray and Richard Balfe (center) after a musical concert by children in Slavutych
Slavutych Kids

During the next three days, the delegation was split up into three groups and traveled to the following communities: Pryluky, Nizhyn, Ichnia, and Oster in the Chernihiv oblast, and Tarashcha, Brovary, Kotsiubynske, Bucha, and Slavutych in the Kyiv oblast. They held meetings with local and regional authorities, representatives of political parties, media, and NGOs. The delegation stressed the importance that the forthcoming presidential elections be free and fair. They asked local officials to uphold the laws of Ukraine and ensure that every Ukrainian citizen has an opportunity to vote for the candidate of his or her choice and that the ballots be counted properly.

Jim Slattery and Bob McEwen at a meeting with representatives of political parties and NGOs in Tarashcha
Tarashcha Meeting

During their last day in Kyiv, the delegates met with representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representative of Viktor Yushchenko's campaign staff, Stepan Havrysh, Rada Deputy and campaign advisor to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, and representatives of the U.S. Embassy.

For additional information on this project, please contact Christina Redko at credko@usukraine.org.


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