EU to deploy expert mission to assess elections in Tunisia

14:11, February 04, 2011      

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The European Union (EU) would deploy an expert mission to Tunisia to assess its electoral process and democratic transition, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said here Wednesday.

"We are about to dispatch an expert mission to Tunisia to assess and provide legal advice to the transition authorities on the electoral legislation," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said at the European Parliament plenary session.

Ashton said she would be travelling to Tunisia in two weeks to continue a dialogue already started with the Tunisian authorities on a whole range of issues, including support in the electoral process, the transition to democracy and increased aid to civil society.

The EU has also increased funding for cooperation with non-government organizations with an additional 1.2 million euros (1.65 million U.S. dollars). The grant should be combined with a reorientation of EU aid programs to help the Tunisian people more directly, said Ashton said.

In addition to the high representative's visit, the European Parliament intends to send a delegation to Tunisia, to strengthen the EU's support to the country in its transition towards democracy.

"I look forward to the upcoming free and democratic elections and the establishment of the new government," Ashton said.

Source: Xinhua
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