France casts doubt on validity of Ukraine election

23rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 23 (AFP) - France said Tuesday that it had "serious doubts" about the validity of Ukraine's disputed presidential election and insisted the will of the people "must be properly taken into account."

PARIS, Nov 23 (AFP) - France said Tuesday that it had "serious doubts" about the validity of Ukraine's disputed presidential election and insisted the will of the people "must be properly taken into account."

A foreign ministry spokeswoman also appealed to Kiev to show restraint in the face of huge opposition protests and to reject "any recourse to violence."

"France, like its European Union partners, harbours serious doubts about the sincerity of the results announced to date," she told a press conference.

According to Ukraine's central electoral commission, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russia candidate, won the runoff vote ahead of opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, who is pro-Western.

Yushchenko had narrowly won a first round vote, and exit polls in Sunday's runoff ballot had also put him ahead.

Paris "urges the Ukrainian authorities to ensure that the will as expressed by the Ukrainian people is properly taken into account," the foreign ministry spokeswoman added.

She said that France accepted the preliminary findings of an OSCE observer mission at the elections, which concluded that the presidential election did not meet democratic standards.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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