Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EP might need to produce its own report on "sham" Ukrainian elections

20th August 2012

The Conservative Foreign Affairs spokesman in the European Parliament has condemned Ukraine's decision to ban key opposition politicians from forthcoming elections - and branded the move a sham and a disgrace.

Charles Tannock, Conservative MEP for London, said any parliamentary elections in the former Soviet state which did not involve former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko or former interior minister Yuriy Lutsenko, would be a hollow and meaningless exercise.

He suggested the European Parliament might now produce its own report exposing the undemocratic elections, independently of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Dr Tannock was speaking in response to a decision by Ukraine Central Election Committee to refuse registration as candidates to Mr Lutsenko and Mrs Tymoshenko, who are widely seen as political prisoners of the Kiev regime.

In monitoring elections, the EU normally produces a report jointly with the OSCE mission, but this would not generally take into account the non-registration of key opposition leaders - only the electoral campaign and the voting.

Dr Tannock said: "Elections stripped of the opposition leadership are a sham and the outcome cannot represent a true verdict of popular opinion. This disgraceful situation will compromise the elections completely and undermine the legitimacy of the elected parliamentarians.

"By convention the European Parliament when observing elections in OSCE countries works in the troika formation with the OSCE and Council of Europe to produce a joint final report. However this is a voluntary arrangement and I will call on the European Parliament if necessary to produce a separate report which reflects the undemocratic climate under which these elections are being held."