The local elections held in Ukraine on the weekend “generally showed respect for the democratic process,” international monitors said on Monday. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called the elections “competitive” and “well-organized,” while acknowledging that they took place in “a challenging political, economic, humanitarian and security environment,” according to a statement on the organization’s website.
The elections will serve as an important gauge for President Petro Poroshenko’s overall public approval. Poroshenko’s ruling coalition has had to fend off charges of corruption, as well as criticism for its tough austerity policies.
Despite the overall success of the elections, the OSCE noted significant problems with the country’s political system, including too much meddling by powerful oligarchs. In its final assessment, the organization highlighted the need for further reform.