Ukraine’s Ex-FM Gives Negative Assessment Election Campaign

Posted September 18th, 2012 at 9:40 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Ukrainian lawmaker and former foreign minister Borys Tarasyuk says the political environment in his country today is not conducive to free and fair parliamentary elections next month.

Tarasyuk told VOA in an interview that the United States, international observers and local non-governmental groups have all given Ukraine's election campaign negative assessments.

He asserted that the country's ruling Party of Regions is the biggest violator of election rules, adding that the opposition is concerned about the decline of democracy and human rights in Ukraine.

The country's parliamentary elections are scheduled for October 28.

The United States has warned Ukraine that the prosecution and jailing of opposition leader and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is damaging Kyiv's ties with the West. Ms. Tymoshenko has been convicted on charges of abuse of office and sentenced to seven years in jail for alleged abuse of office. She claims the charges are politically motivated.

Tarasyuk told VOA that Ms. Tymoshenko is kept in jail because she is the most vocal and best known critic of the Ukrainian authorities.