Sunday, March 16, 2008

EU: Iran Election was 'Neither Free Nor Fair'

Beirut, 16 Mar 08
The European Union expressed concern overnight Saturday at the conduct of general elections in Iran, saying the vote was neither free nor fair.
The EU "expresses its deep concern that election procedures in the Islamic Republic of Iran have fallen below the international standards and that the electoral process did not allow for truly competitive elections," a statement said.

"In this regard it expresses its deep regret and disappointment that over a third of prospective candidates were prevented from standing in this year's parliamentary elections," the EU's Slovenian presidency said.

"These exclusions prevented the Iranian people from being able to choose freely amongst the full range of political views in their country and represent a clear violation of the international norms.

"As a result, the election was neither fair nor free."

Iran's conservatives were set to win two-thirds of the seats in parliament after dominating Friday's legislative elections, despite a respectable showing by reformists who suffered heavy pre-vote vetoes.

"Iran should make a commitment that in future elections the Iranian people will be able to choose from the full range of candidates," the EU statement said.

"The Iranian people deserve a genuine democratic choice about the future of their country."(AFP)


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