Strasbourg, 29.10.2012 – Ukraine’s parliamentary elections were characterized by a tilted playing field, the international observers concluded in a statement released today. This was the result, primarily, of the abuse of administrative resources, as well as a lack of transparency in campaign and party financing and of balanced media coverage.
Voters had a choice between distinct parties and candidate registration was inclusive, with two notable exceptions, representing a wide variety of political views. The political environment, however, is dominated by powerful economic groups, to the detriment of the electoral process, the statement said.
“Considering the abuse of power, and the excessive role of money in this election, democratic progress appears to have reversed in Ukraine,” said Walburga Habsburg Douglas, the Special Co-ordinator who led the OSCE short-term election observation mission and the Head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation. “One should not have to visit a prison to hear from leading political figures in the country."
“Ukrainians deserved better from these elections. The 'oligarchization' of the whole process meant that citizens lost their ownership of the election, as well as their trust in it” said Andreas Gross, the Head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delegation. “Unfortunately, the great democratic potential of Ukrainian society was not realized in yesterday's vote.” (more...)