Opinion: “Elections in Ukraine should be halted” – Finnish activist

Elections are the cornerstone of all free and democratic societies. They ensure that the people hold the reins of their nations in their hands, and not despotic rulers and kings of the past.

People around the world have long looked at the European community as an example of how elections should be held. Transparent, free from intimidation and open for all who are eligible to vote.

Finland was a frontrunner in holding impartial elections, as it was the second country in the world to adopt universal suffrage in 1906 and the first country in the world to have women elected in 1907.

Yet these same European countries are quiet today as we are nearing the election date of 31 th of March in the heart of Europe, in Ukraine, where the standards of free elections have been discarded.

In the upcoming Ukrainian presidential elections, up to 7 million Ukrainians have been barred from voting. Approximately 3 million Ukrainians who live in Russia, and who account for the majority of Ukrainian expatriates, cannot vote, as Ukraine has closed all polling stations in the country.

In addition, the approximately 4 million Ukrainian citizens living in the Donbass regions not under Kiev control, will not be allowed to vote. This goes against the Ukrainian constitution and all internationally accepted standard for elections.

The world community, and especially the European community, Finland included, should demand in unison for the presidential elections in Ukraine to be halted until all Ukrainians, where they might reside, will be able to exercise their fundamental right to decide the direction of the country.

Jarmo Ekman, Deputy candidate in the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Finland, and Finland–Novorossia Friendship Society board member

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