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US claims Sunday's election in Ukraine signals a 'step backwards'

October 30, 2012, 4:12 UTC+3

The U.S. is “troubled by allegations of fraud and falsification in the voting process and tabulation

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WASHINGTON, October 30 (Itar-Tass) — U.S. Administration believes that Sunday’s parliamentary election in Ukraine, which has most obviously brought victory to the Regions Party of President Viktor Yanukovich, signaled ‘a step backwards’ in terms of the democratic process, the Department of State Acting Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement Monday.

“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,” Toner said.

“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,” the statement said.

Toner singled out the “use of government resources to favor ruling party candidates, interference with media access, and harassment of opposition candidates” as the follies the U.S. and its Western associates have allegedly registered.

The statement admitted that the election was “peaceful overall and observed by a large number of domestic and international observers” but said that the U.S. is “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,” Toner said.

He reiterated the U.S. Administration’s resolve to continue support to the Ukrainian people’s willingness to build “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,” the statement said.

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