Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-01-16-Speech-3-238"

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"Mr President, I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to the Council, the Commission and also to my fellow Members here in the European Parliament. There is great unity among the institutions. This makes me personally very happy and I say this also on behalf of my team of more than 150 election observers, at least 50 of whom have been stationed in Kenya for over a month. Our unity here is a good sign. Some of these observers – I want to state this here – are now on their way to Pakistan, or have already arrived there, where the next difficult election is pending. Election monitoring is sometimes a difficult and dangerous job. I should like to thank these people most sincerely for their commitment to this. Whatever you stand for, Europe is the common value. We can be proud – as the Commissioner has just said – that other monitoring missions have subscribed to our judgment, for instance the Commonwealth Delegation and the International Republican Institute from the United States. I believe the work of the monitoring mission has therefore established a basis for a joint effort in which the European Union, Africa and the United States all pull together in order to reach a solution to the crisis in Kenya. In its resolution the European Parliament will highlight the paths it considers appropriate. As chief observer, I have not taken part in these consultations myself. The neutrality of our mission must, in my view, be unequivocally preserved to the end. To the end means until our final report, which we are presently compiling, is submitted. Together with the professional work of our observers in the field, the resulting neutrality was our strongest asset. Neutrality and professionalism also include the fact that we work only on the basis of proof. In our conclusion we discovered that there is scepticism about the result of the presidential election. As a monitoring mission, we have never said that a particular candidate has won the elections. What we have said is that it is not possible to establish who the winner is. I would like to quote something in English from the Kenyan election observers, who write as follows: ‘In our view, considering the entire electoral process, the 2007 general elections were credible in as far as the voting and counting process is concerned. The electoral process lost credibility towards the end with regard to the tallying and announcement of presidential results.’ That statement comes from the national Kenyan observers, who stationed between 16 000 and 20 000 people there. It is entirely consistent with our findings. I now wish to say something that applies to me, to the team and to everyone: we are hoping for a rapid settlement of the crisis, an end to the violence and for the refugees to return to their homeland as quickly as possible."@en1

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