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

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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