The western states double standards policy. Estimating democratic processes in ukrai
The modern history is able to provide many eloquent examples of use of practice of double standards in an international policy. First, it concerns ambiguity of approaches of influential western powers and the leading international organizations as to the estimation of election campaigns, and other democratic processes taking place in the states of the former USSR. Therefore, at elections in the countries where the ruling political regime is pro-Western, the international observers recognize that elections meet the European and international standards. On the contrary if a ruling regime or the winner of election has not pro-Western orientation, observers, as a rule, find numerous infringements at election. For example, M. Saakashvili's victory on elections in Georgia has been named as “triumph of democracy”, while A. Lukashenko's victory in Belarus was considered a result of ballot rigging. In both cases, extraordinary high (from the western point of view) percent of voices for the candidate was represented as the proof.
According to the Russian MFA “such state of affairs in many respects is caused by the position of experts of ODIHR OSCE and the High commissioner on national minorities OSCE, who prefer to ignore gross infringements of human rights in the Baltic states”. The Russian diplomats believe that “the decision of ODIHR not to direct on parliamentary elections to Estonia full-format monitoring mission testifies to keeping the practice of “double standards”.
Experts consider elections to the local authority of Ukraine, which took place last year, as the brightest and characteristic examples of a policy of double standards. Elections were held according to the majority-proportional system. Delegations of some influential international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the International parliamentary assembly of the CIS countries, monitoring mission CIS-EMO and many other have been accredited as observers to the elections.
After termination of an election campaign, observers of the foreign missions, presented at elections, have stated a number of the general estimations and comments. Meanwhile experts notice that estimations of the western observers had often ambiguous character, including because of the above considered features and circumstances of use of a policy of double standards towards the states with “young democracy”. According to them, the context of the international observers’ comments looks also quite dual: though direct gross violations during voting are not recorded, at holding of local election in Ukraine the level of legislative maintenance and transparency has decreased in comparison with the previous February presidential election. At the same time, one fact remains indisputable: any of groups of the international observers presented in the country both the day before and directly in day of voting has not stated too hard and categorical negative estimations of local elections in Ukraine. On the contrary, the majority of observers has noted the organized character of elections and declared absence of any gross violations.
Therefore, at the press conference passed in Kiev right after the termination of election, representatives of the international missions of observers declared that the local Ukrainian election was enough organized, thus gross violations, which could affect its definitive result, had not been recorded. The president of the American-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry H. Teplitskaja (USA) told that “she was pleasantly surprised with the way of elections holding”.
Observers from the European Parliament, in their turn, have noticed that day of election in Ukraine was characterized by an atmosphere of calmness. Simultaneously with it the deputy of European Parliament P. Koval has paid attention to amendments to the electoral legislation just before the election as it was made during presidential campaign in Ukraine. According to P. Koval the “imperfect” legislation became the reason of separate defects of work of the election commissions, formation of lists, manufacturing of ballots.
The deputy of European Parliament A. Mirsky (Latvia) has noticed that interest to Ukraine does not decrease in Europe. However, it has been decided not to pass any resolutions as it would be qualified as an intervention in internal affairs of Ukraine.
At the same time, a number of the international observers, representing basically the leading western countries and the international organizations, have traditionally stated critical estimations and remarks. In particular, some representatives of mission of observers of the Council of Europe have noticed, that elections to bodies of local authority of Ukraine have not met European standards in full. The representative of Committee of regions of EU T. Kallasvee has noticed, that “Day of voting has shown weakness of the new law on election passed only three months prior to election”.
The USA also estimated critically local elections in Ukraine. In the statement, issued by the US State department, it was noted the Ukrainian local elections didn’t match the level of openness and transparency declared by the recent presidential elections at the beginning of 2010. On November 3rd, 2010 the US embassy in Ukraine published the statement which conformed to the official assessment of the US government. Though observers recognized the improvement of the voting list accuracy in comparison with the presidential election, they noted insufficient training of the election commission members. It assisted the certain procedural infringement and caused some organizational problems.
On November 7, 2010 the US assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs Mr. John F. Gordon gave very predictable political assessment about the Ukrainian local elections in his interview to the “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty”. There was only personal opinion, but the statement was made by official person publicly in the mass media, financing from the US state budget, also it had no mentions about any falsification or any distortion of the voting results. Even more the international practice does not provide a possibility to recognize or to non-recognize the results of local elections. In this case, some assessments and some recommendations may have purely legal or political character, but do not extend on the area of the international legitimacy of the central authorities. It might be some signal to the Ukrainian authorities by the experts' opinion that should affect the domestic policy of official Kiev in order to coordinate it with the US administration. The main goal of Mr. F. Gordon’s demarche consists in the requirement on reforming of the elective legislation.
The situation concerning unconsolidated position and controversial assessments of the representatives of international monitors’ mission of the Congress of local and regional authorities of the Council of Europe needs the separate analysis. 25 observers from the different countries worked on the eve and in the Election Day in many regions of Ukraine.
Directly after completion of Elections, the majority of official observers from the Council of Europe such as: G. Mosler-Törnström (Austria, Vice-Chair, the Socialist Group), N. Mermagen (United Kingdom, the Independent and Liberal Democrat Group, Councilor), E. Yeritsyan (Armenia, Group European People’s party) and many others, estimated positively the local election process in Ukraine and stated it respectively in their preliminary reports. For instance, the head of delegation Mrs. Gudrun Mosler-Törnström declared at press conference that the voting passed smoothly except some incidents on the separate polls.
However, Mrs. R. Zigmund (Secretariat), preparing the project of final report, ignored the conclusions of many her counterparts. Therefore, such substitution of the facts, in fact, took place. As a result, the leaders of the Council of Europe receive some unreliable information.
Never mind the incorrect information could affect the actions of the Council of Europe concerning Ukraine and cause the negative reaction of Ukrainian authorities. There was some precedent to estimate the actions of the Congress by the Ukrainian authorities as the policy of double standards and the intervention in home policy of independent state. As an example the text of subparagraph “a” of paragraph 11, could be rated: “to continue some practice of presentation of elective law on local and regional elections in Ukraine to assessment of the Venetian Commission of Council of Europe before this bill will be adopted by parliament”.
It is necessary to note that the Ukrainian authorities devoted great attention to critical remarks and constructive suggestions that were said by international monitors at the end of the past election campaign.
The President V. Janukovich always bends every effort to the creation of facilities for reforming of the elective law of Ukraine based on the international standards. It is necessary to remind on November 2nd, 2010 the leader of the Ukraine created the Working Group on improvement of the elective law by his decree. It should be developing some efficient elective rules according to the advanced European and world standards.
Thus, the assessment of elective process in Ukraine, as well as in other CIS countries by representatives of the influential international organizations shows very evidently policy of the double standards, “If you do not like the events in some country so that this country and its political process cannot be democratic one”.
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