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31 August, 2012  ▪  Milan Lielich

A Step Away From Free Election

European MP Elmar Brok: "No-one in Kyiv should expect that everything will be over and forgotten after a falsified election"

The Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs says that in actual fact, parliamentary elections in Ukraine can already be considered to be undemocratic. By preventing Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko from participating in the parliamentary election, the Ukrainian government could have passed the point of no return in its relations with Europe. At this time, the main foreign affairs person at the European Parliament and deputy of the European People’s Party, does not want to talk about specific steps, but warns that “The EU and the European Parliament will find the right answers at the right time.”

UW: Mr. Brok, do the members of the EPP group understand that neither Yulia Tymoshenko, nor Yuriy Lutsenko have any way of participating in the upcoming parliamentary election?

It is intolerable that Ms. Tymoshenko, Mr. Lutsenko and other opposition politicians at all levels are not allowed to participate in the election or are being treated unfairly. Politically motivated judgments and court cases are destroying the opportunity for a free and fair parliamentary election this autumn.

UW: All the same, will the EPP group evaluate the Ukrainian parliamentary election as being free and democratic if Ms. Tymoshenko and Mr. Lutsenko do not participate, which is now a fact?

The Ukrainian election cannot be considered free, transparent and fair. It is a blatant violation of the rule of law and democracy. I hope that the Ukrainian authorities will find a way to return to democratic principles. I would like to stress once more that this is not just about the Tymoshenko and Lutsenko cases, but also about others, particularly on the local level. Sadly we are forced to witness opposition politicians being put under pressure and placed at a disadvantage. A free and fair election is not just a question of the technical procedure on Election Day.

UW: Will the EPP group make any public statements regarding this situation?

Politicians from the EPP group have made numerous public statements about these issues. Together with my colleague Michael Gahler, we published a statement on 12 July, in which we are calling for the fair treatment of the opposition and expressed our concerns that President Yanukovych is leaving the ranks of respected democracies. Joseph Daul, the Chairman of the EPP group, Wilfried Martens, President of the EPP and many EU governments have given clear messages.

UW: Is it worth waiting for a new resolution from the next plenary session of the European Parliament regarding the political situation in Ukraine, which will be taking place in September?

The European Parliament and the European Union as a whole will continue to monitoring the situation in Ukraine very closely. Unfortunately we have to say that the chance for a free and fair election is becoming slimmer and slimmer. The European Union and the European Parliament will find the right answers at the right time. No-one in Kyiv should expect that everything will be over and forgotten after a falsified election.

UW: Nearly three months have passed since the last resolution of the European Parliament about the situation in Ukraine. Do you see the Ukrainian government taking any steps towards fulfilling the recommendations noted in the resolution?

No - so far, all I can see is theUkrainian government movingfurther and further away fromthese recommendations, therebycausing greater isolation.


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