KYIV, Ukraine, October 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Mevlut Cavusoglu, the former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and a member of the pre-electoral PACE delegation that visited Ukraine last month, has urged his European colleagues to evaluate upcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine "on the basis of all elements" and to avoid pre-judging the election before it is held.
In an interview with Interfax, Cavusoglu said he was disappointed by remarks made by the head of the PACE pre-electoral delegation, Andreas Gross, noting they were "neither fair nor objective, and diverged substantially from our official and non-partisan PACE statement as agreed and issued in Kyiv on September 22nd."
The comments made by Gross to the weekly Ukrainian paper Tyzhden, saw the delegation chief describing the election commission of Ukraine as a "farce" and saying he was "pessimistic" about prospects for a free and fair election. These kinds of remarks could be seen as prematurely pre-judging the parliamentary elections set to be held on October 28th, Cavusoglu explained.
"I was disappointed to read an interview given by our head of delegation in which he made partisan remarks that tend to pre-judge the outcome of Ukraine's parliamentary election a month before they are held," Cavusoglu said in a statement to Interfax.
"Mr. Gross does not appear in this interview to be an impartial representative of the Council of Europe if he makes these statements," the former PACE president added.
Cavusoglu, who served from 2010 to 2012 as President of PACE, noted that "the parliamentary elections need to be judged on the basis of all elements affecting the whole process, and not on any individual item."
"These new remarks in the interview given by Mr. Gross are a long way away from the fair and balanced statement that we all made when our delegation completed its visit to Kyiv," Interfax quoted Cavusoglu as saying.
Heading the PACE delegation, Gross issued a statement on September 22nd, saying the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Ukraine on October 28th would be "a litmus test of Ukraine's commitment to democratic principles as a step towards further European integration."
The PACE delegation also raised concerns about a proposed law to criminalize defamation, and Cavusoglu told Interfax he was pleased to see these concerns had already been addressed.
He said that a week after the PACE mission to Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych criticized the draft legislation and the law was stopped in parliament. This, he told Interfax, "shows that Ukraine and PACE can and do engage constructively."
SOURCE Ukraine Observer