Tuesday, September 14, 2010

PACE committee welcomes ‘political will’ for ambitious reform in Ukraine, but warns that democratic principles need to be respected

The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has welcomed the political will being shown by the new government in Ukraine for an “ambitious and far-reaching package of reforms” – but warned that they were being implemented in a hasty manner.

In a draft resolution unanimously approved yesterday at a meeting in Paris, the committee said the reforms needed “wide political consensus and public support”, which in turn was only possible if parliamentary procedures and democratic principles were strictly respected.

For the reforms to be successful, government and opposition should also jointly implement constitutional changes first, the committee declared. “Lasting political stability” in Ukraine required a clear separation of powers, as well as a proper system of checks and balances between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

The parliamentarians also expressed their serious concern at allegations that democratic freedoms – such as freedom of assembly, expression and the media – have come under pressure in recent months. “Any regression in respect for and protection of these rights would be unacceptable for the Assembly,” they said.

The co-rapporteurs, Renate Wohlwend (Liechtenstein, EPP/CD) and Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE), intend to return to Ukraine in the near future to discuss their findings and conclusions with the authorities and other relevant parties, if possible before the Assembly debates the report at its forthcoming plenary session (4-8 October 2010).

Source: PACE. Published in Strasbourg on 10 September 2010

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