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Queen’s helps Ukraine prepare for parliamentary election


Thursday March 23, 2006, (Kingston, ON) -- Queen’s is playing a role in helping to prepare police for the job of protecting the political and civil rights of citizens of Ukraine as they cast their votes parliamentary and local elections on March 26th.

Queen’s Building Democracy Project in the School of Policy Studies is working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to train law enforcement in their responsibilities to support the orderly, free and fair conduct of the elections.

“The overall objective is to establish appropriate standards of conduct and best practices for law enforcement personnel in dealing with the situations that they are likely to face during an election,” says George Perlin, director of the Building Democracy Project and emeritus professor in Queen’s School of Policy Studies.

On March ninth the Building Democracy Project and the Ministry published a 30-page guidebook for internal security personnel that has been distributed to district heads of security and senior administrators. It outlines how they can best work with the Central Election Commission to ensure the integrity of the election. An additional 40,000 copies of a pocket checklist of election responsibilities is being distributed to front-line law enforcement officers.

The guidebook and checklist were developed by Ministry personnel with advice from Queen’s Project consultants and include advice on practices followed by law enforcement agencies in other democracies and lessons learned by international observers of Ukraine’s 2004 election.

The guides address typical infringements of rights during elections, potential situations in which law enforcement intervention may be required and how law enforcement personnel should conduct themselves. An English-language version of the guidebook has been published on the Queen’s Project’s web site to serve as a guide for international observers who will be monitoring this year’s election.

The Building Democracy Project is a Canadian and Ukrainian partnership, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Queen’s, to provide Ukraine with a comprehensive program of professional and post-secondary education about democracy and human rights. The goal is to foster and strengthen commitment to liberal-democratic values and the processes of liberal-democratic governance among citizens and elites.

For more information or to arrange an interview call Sarah Withrow 613.533-3280, Lorinda Peterson 613.533-3234, or Therese Greenwood 613.533-6907.

Attention broadcasters: Queen’s now has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston fibre optic cable and broadcast quality radio transmissions from our on-campus studio. Please call for details.


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