May 14, 2014 3:58 pm

Manitobans headed to Ukraine to monitor election

WINNIPEG – With election day on the horizon in Ukraine, a handful of Manitobans are packing their bags and heading to the country in the midst of turmoil.

“I want to do as much as I can,” said Nick Krawetz, a Birds Hill resident selected as an observer for the May 25 election. “Whatever small role I can play, I will be glad to do it.”

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Krawetz found out he made the cut as an observer Monday afternoon. Around 1,500 Canadians applied for the opportunity through Canadian Election Observation Missions, with 39 long-term and 300 short-term observers elected.

The volunteers will be trained in Kyiv when they arrive and will be responsible for observing, recording and reporting what they see during voting on May 25.

“I believe that fundamental values are at stake — the freedom of expression, freedom of speech, the right to have a free and fair election,” said Krawetz, who is leaving for Ukraine on Sunday.

Threat assessments are being done on a daily basis to make sure everyone is safe.

Progressive Conservative MLA Ron Schuler will also serve as an observer.

“We will be the eyes and ears for the government of Canada,” Schuler said. “I hope that in the end, whatever the people will chose is done freely with a secret ballot and that everybody has their say.”

The Canadian government is funding the mission.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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