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Ukraine: EPP President Wilfried Martens expresses his strong concern regarding re-opening of old Kuchma time politically motivated case against opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko

Date

14 May 2010

The President of the European People's Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens made the following statement about the current political situation in Ukraine:


“I am very concerned about the developments in Ukrainian politics after the recent Presidential elections. These negative developments have become systematic in nature and are threatening the rule of law and fundamental human rights and civil liberties. First, an unconstitutional majority and a new coalition were established in the Ukrainian Parliament, and as the result the government, which lacks legitimacy was formed. Second, there are increasing violations of the freedom of press and the revival of censorship resulting in strong criticism from a number of respectable international media organizations including “Reporters without Frontiers” and “International Freedom of Expression Exchange”. Third, the local elections were suspended by the new majority in the Parliament. Forth, there are systematic violations of opposition rights. And, finally, there are clear evidences of political manipulations of the criminal justice system from the side of the Ukrainian authorities aimed at intimidation and harassment of the opposition, where the old politically motivated case against Yulia Tymoshenko has just been opened.

Over last 5 years we used to see Ukraine as an example of democracy in the region. It is very sad and disturbing to observe how the democratic achievements of the previous government are being destroyed and neglected by current authorities.

I call on Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych to stop the violation of democratic principles. Such practice moves Ukraine away from the European Union. Furthermore, I urge the Ukrainian President to develop a constructive dialogue with opposition leaders in democratic manner.”


Note to editors
The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 73 member-parties from 39 countries, the Presidents of the Commission, Council, and Parliament, 14 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 13 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.


For more information


Kostas Sasmatzoglou, EPP Spokesman, Tel. +32-2-285 4147


Javier Jiménez, EPP Press Officer, Tel: +32-475 480446

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