US calls Ukrainian elections a step backwards
U.S Department of State Statement on Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine
Made by Mark C. Toner, Acting Spokesperson
The United States Government is concerned that the conduct of Sunday’s parliamentary elections constituted a step backwards from progress made during previous parliamentary elections and the 2010 presidential election, elections that had marked important steps forward for Ukraine’s democracy.
We share the concerns cited in today’s preliminary report from observation missions from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. These include the use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates. While election day was peaceful overall and observed by a large number of domestic and international observers, we are troubled by allegations of fraud and falsification in the voting process and tabulation, by the disparity between preliminary results from the Central Election Commission and parallel vote tabulations, and by the Central Election Commission’s decision not to release precinct results. We also reiterate our deep concern that the politically motivated convictions of opposition leaders, including of former Prime Minister Tymoshenko, prevented them from standing in these elections. We again call on the Government to put an immediate end to the selective prosecution of political opponents.
The United States will continue to support the Ukrainian people’s aspirations for an independent, prosperous and democratic Ukraine. We regret that flawed parliamentary elections do not advance Ukraine toward this goal, but we remain committed to working with Ukraine to improve democratic institutions, strengthen the rule of law, and advance essential economic reforms.