KYIV, October 25 /UKRINFORM/. Heads of the US and European diplomacy have expressed concern about the use of administrative resources to favor ruling party candidates in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said in a joint article published in The New York Times on Wednesday.
“We are concerned about reports of the use of administrative resources to favor ruling party candidates and the difficulties several media outlets face. Similarly, we are concerned about the continuation of the practice of the Central Election Commission holding closed pre-session meetings and the lack of representation of some political parties on district and precinct election commissions. Distribution of material or financial benefits to voters is another issue that should be investigated and halted,” reads the article.
The diplomats also “regret that the convictions of opposition leaders during trials that did not meet international standards are preventing them from standing in parliamentary elections”.
“The Ukrainian government needs to address these selective prosecutions, including the case of former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko and other former senior officials,” said Clinton and Ashton.
They also noted that Ukrainian citizens “expect President Viktor F. Yanukovych and his government to address these concerns, especially to ensure that the right to political participation is upheld and to provide for fair media access for all candidates”.
“We know this is possible because Ukrainians have done it before. Just over two years ago, they elected a new president in what many observers consider the country's freest and fairest national election. With that contest, Ukrainians set their own high standard, a standard that should be met in this month's election, reads the article.
Clinton and Ahston emphasized that they are also mindful of Ukraine's broader reform agenda. “While some progress has been made, we hope the elections will lead to a vigorous and effective effort by the country's leaders to advance important core reforms, including the investment climate and the energy sector. Much is at stake here for Ukraine's future”, said the article in The New York Times.
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