European Parliament leader calls for fair presidential elections in Ukraine

Visiting European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek Monday called on Ukraine to hold “a free, fair and transparent” presidential poll.

“The European Union does not support any presidential candidate. But we are very interested in a free, fair and transparent election in Ukraine,” Buzek told a press conference after talks with Ukraine’s Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Buzek said the European Parliament will send observers to Ukraine during the presidential elections, stressing “Ukraine is EU’s important strategic partner.”

He also urged Ukraine to speed up economic reforms, ensure energy security and maintain its political balance.

Lytvyn, for his part, said Ukraine will cooperate with domestic and international observers in order to ensure the election democratic and fair.

“I believe Ukraine will continue its democracy road, though election campaigns have made the political situation complicated,” he said.

Ukraine is scheduled to hold the presidential poll on Jan. 17, 2010. A total of 18 presidential candidates will run for the post.

At present, leader of the oppositional Region’s Party Viktor Yanukovich and incumbent Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are leading in opinion polls.

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