AMBASSADOR'S BLOG - UKRAINE VOTES FOR DEMOCRACY: EUROPE MINISTERS SPEAK

Kyiv
31.01.10




One week ahead of the decisive second round of the Ukrainian presidential elections on 7 February, Europe Ministers from four EU countries have published an excellent article in Dzerkalo Tyzhnia (Weekly Mirror) called "Voting for Democracy: Ukraine's Presidential Elections".  Links are here, in Ukrainian and Russian - ZT publishes in both languages - with a covering article here (Ukrainian/Russian).  (Link to the article in English will appear here tomorrow.)

The article, by Chris Bryant (UK), Werner Hoyer (Germany), Pierre Lellouche (France) and Mikolaj Dowgielewicz (Poland) welcomes the fact that the first round of the election on 17 January took place in calm and orderly conditions, and that the results have been widely accepted.  "Ukraine's external reputation as a beacon for democracy in the region can only be enhanced," the article says, "if these standards are adhered to in the next round."  To help achieve that, the article urges all sides to take the OSCE/ODIHR observer mission into their confidence and to give election observers maximum support and access.  It concludes that: "We trust that the next round of voting will also be held in accordance with international standards and take place in a similarly peaceful environment.  An election with a clear and widely accepted outcome will stand the best chance of further strengthening Ukrainian democracy."

Leigh Turner
British Ambassador to Ukraine

NOTE:  You can read all of Ambassador Turner's blogs by visiting: http://blogs.fco.gov/roller/turner




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