European Parliament: Ukraine's Elections - The Best in Post-Soviet Bloc

Nov 07, 2012, 08:14 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, November 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The parliamentary elections in Ukraine of October 28, 2012, were better than the ones in other post-Soviet countries the European Parliament (EP) has observed. This was stated by the head of the European Parliament Observer Mission in Ukraine MEP Pawel Kowal at the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs meeting. This year's elections in Ukraine, however, were worse than the 2010 presidential vote, pointed out Kowal.

Ukraine is very important for the EP for the country has European aspirations; moreover, it is expected to head the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Therefore, the EP awaits Ukraine's constructive reaction on the joint statement made by observers from a number of European institutions.

EP Observer Mission commented that Ukraine's vote can be fully assessed after the election process finalization. "We cannot clearly assess the elections, which are not over yet," said Kowal.

Another MEP and a member of the Observer Mission, Michael Gahler, stated that merely criticizing Ukraine would not be beneficial and that it was of outmost importance to intensively cooperate with the country in order to bring it closer to Europe and European standards.

There were, however, a number of remarks that Pawel Kowel voiced at the meeting. Particularly, the new elections legislation approved by Ukrainian parliament in 2011 caused some of the problems: the mixed proportional and majority electoral system, last used in 2002, brought about a number of violations. In addition, the Mission stressed that the electoral process has been influenced by imprisonment of the opposition leaders Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko.

At the same time, observes who monitored the process on October 28 did not report any substantial violations on the Election Day.

On October 29, 2012, the head of the EP Observer Mission in Ukraine stated that the elections could stimulate the signing of Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. "We need a new impetus for the signing and ratification of the Association Agreement [between Ukraine and the EU]," said Kowal then, adding that the recent parliamentary elections could become such a driving force.

European Parliament Observer Mission worked in Ukraine on October 26 through 29. EP plans to adopt the final version of their Ukrainian elections assessment report in two weeks' time.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine