19:05 26.03.2012

Klitschko's UDAR Party to appeal for EPP membership

The UDAR Party, which is headed by Vitali Klitschko, is to apply for membership of the European People's Party (EPP), the EPP's press service has reported, referring to a meeting between Klitschko and EPP President Wilfried Martens in Brussels.

"In view of the deteriorating political situation in Ukraine, this time we discussed the importance and necessity for all opposition parties to cooperate in the next parliamentary elections," Martens said.

"A common front from all opposition parties could offer a serious and viable challenge to the current regime. In this sense, we also agreed on the need for extensive election monitoring, not only for the election itself, but also for the long-term monitoring of the implementation of the election outcome," the European politician noted, while speaking on the issues discussed during the meeting.

"Regarding the upcoming municipal elections in Kyiv at the end May, we both found it is particularly disturbing to see that a formal announcement has yet to be made by the relevant authorities," Martens and Klitschko stated.

"Thus, I call on the Ukrainian authorities to organize, as planned, the elections in Kyiv by the end of May; failure to do so will result in serious consequences from the European and international community," the EPP president said.

Martens also "made a public call to the European and international community to use the opportunity of the European Football Championship to put pressure on the regime in order to end its continued violation of human rights and to reverse its authoritarian practices."

"Finally, in order to jointly promote the above-mentioned efforts, we agreed to strengthen the already excellent cooperation between the EPP and the UDAR. In this sense, I was particularly pleased to hear party leader Klitschko's intention to formally apply for EPP membership," the EPP president said.

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