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Fule, Ashton: Upcoming elections will be litmus test of Ukraine's democratic credentials

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Oct. 12, 2012, 2:55 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Representatives of the European Unions have again expressed concern about the lack of political pluralism in the Ukrainian media.
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Representatives of the European Unions have again expressed concern about the lack of political pluralism in the Ukrainian media and welcomed the declaration by the Ukrainians authorities of their intention to hold fair and transparent elections.

This is stipulated in a joint statement by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule, which was issued on Friday.

"The parliamentary elections to be held on Oct. 28 will be litmus test of Ukraine's democratic credentials. We therefore welcome the authorities' stated commitment to work closely with the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission and to ensure that the elections will be conducted in line with international standards," reads the statement.

"All parties and candidates must benefit from a level playing field. To this end, we encourage the Ukrainian authorities to follow up on the early findings of the OSCE/ODIHR Elections Observation Mission," Ashton and Fule said.

At the same time, the EU representatives expressed concern about the lack of political pluralism on television and demanded immediate action to define clear procedures for media to ensure there is balanced coverage of all participants of the election process.

They also stressed that the activities of the Central Election Commission should be transparent and all issues related to the composition of district electoral commissions should be clarified.

"Furthermore, we reiterate our regret that the consequences of trials which did not respect international standards are preventing opposition representatives from standing in parliamentary elections," reads the statement.

The parliamentary elections in Ukraine will be held on Oct. 28.

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