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2 November, 2012  ▪  The Ukrainian Week

Prelimiary Reaction of the International Community to the 2012 Election in Ukraine

In their statement on the Ukrainian election, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino say that the “elections are a key benchmark in Ukraine's democratic development and are indicative of worrying trends in the country's progress towards achieving its democratic aspirations... Irregularities observed during the campaign created an uneven playing field which may have interfered with the ability of citizens to freely express their electoral will... Ukraine has made substantial democratic strides since 1992 and it is disheartening that this year's parliamentary elections do not appear to have measured up to Ukraine's past democratic performance.”

UK’s Minister for Europe David Lidington:

“Ukraine’s parliamentary elections were disappointing. Although voters were presented with a wide range of choices, International Election Observers found evidence that these choices were restricted through, for example, an unbalanced media environment, a lack of transparency in the way the final results were collated, and the absence of leading opposition candidates imprisoned as a result of unsoundly applied law. We regret that Ukraine wasted an opportunity to show firm and consistent commitment to democratic principles.

The UK sees enormous potential in Ukraine as a European neighbour and partner. As a strong supporter of Ukraine’s European aspirations, we urge the new Ukrainian government, when it is formed, to address what needs to be done to bring new vigour to the process of building and sustaining healthy and robust democratic institutions.”

European Parliament President Martin Schulz:

"Noting the preliminary conclusions of international observers from the OSCE/ODIHR mission, I regret that many shortcomings marred the ballot. I am concerned by the lack of a level playing field among political forces caused, among other reasons, by the abuse of administrative resources."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland: “...breaches were observed during the elections, including the use of administrative pressure, the lack of transparency in financing political parties and restricting access to the media for opposition and independent candidates. For those reasons, the election process did not fully conform to democratic standards.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Füle:

"We reiterate our regret that the consequences of trials that did not respect international standards have prevented opposition representatives from standing in the parliamentary elections and call on the authorities to address this matter and take further steps to reform the judiciary to avoid their recurrence.”

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