Klychko: Upcoming Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine Will Either Open or Close Door to Europe

01.10.2012 15:15

Should the government use administrative resources and voter fraud schemes in the upcoming election campaign, it will seriously impede Ukraine’s progress towards EU integration.  The statement was made by Vitaliy Klychko, Leader of “UDAR” party, during his meeting with President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski on October 1 in Warsaw.

In turn, the Polish President affirmed the statement by adding that serious allegations of voting rights violations and fraud in Ukraine’s Parliamentary elections may spell the end for the country’s ambitions to sign an association agreement with the EU. He stressed that this is the position of the EU, which is monitoring the entire election campaign in Ukraine, not just the polling day, very closely.

According to Polish experts, the way the elections are held and assessed by international observers and democratic institutions will be crucial to recognizing election results and their legitimacy.

Vitaliy Klychko mentioned today’s election process is far from perfect; there are a number of factors showing that it is not transparent. In particular, the problem with the formation of election commissions and the fact that representatives of strong opposition parties are not on board may enable fraud in the vote counting process. In addition, Klychko said that his party will not ignore the ongoing large-scale bribing of voters, pressure on opposition parties and independent media.  As an example of the latest pressure on media, Klychko cited an attempt to push through the Parliament the Defamation Bill that envisages imprisonment for offenders. He stressed that “UDAR” party jointly with the opposition will make every effort to protect the results of the upcoming elections and not allow the ruling party to win unfairly.”

Klychko said that his party “has already called on democratic forces to identify the constituencies where we could nominate and support a single candidate from the opposition by the end of this week. “UDAR” is ready to withdraw candidates in those districts where candidates from Batkivshchyna party or pro-opposition self-nominated candidates enjoy high-level support and hopes the opposition peers will follow suit by giving the go-ahead for the “UDAR” candidates. We should do our best to prevent the pro-government candidates from winning in any districts”, stated Klychko.

In turn, Civic Platform party represented by the incumbent Polish President and Prime Minister suggested joint cooperation with “UDAR”. The parties began talks in a bid to foster bilateral cooperation. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski views “UDAR” as a dependable and reliable partner of Civic Platform.

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