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Ukrainian court suspends presidential election result after appeal [SORROS]

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« on: February 17, 2010, 01:34:43 pm »


Ukrainian court suspends presidential election result after appeal


Guardian
17 Feb 2010


Court to rule on complaint by prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, that poll won by her rival, Viktor Yanukovych, was flawed




Ukraine's highest court today suspended the results of this month's bitterly contested presidential election following an appeal by Yulia Tymoshenko against the victory of her rival, Viktor Yanukovych.

The court said it would rule on complaints by Tymoshenko that the election narrowly won by Yanukovych on 7 February had been flawed. Tymoshenko, the prime minister, has refused to concede defeat and appears intent on sabotaging Yanukovych's inauguration on 25 February.

International observers certified the election as free and fair. Today experts said that Tymoshenko's legal action was unlikely to overturn the result of the poll – although it may put off heads of state from attending Yanukovych's swearing-in ceremony.

"I don't think this will throw a spanner in the works," Andrew Wilson, senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said. The court was considering complaints of fraud in Crimea and Donetsk – both Russian-speaking Yanukovych strongholds, he said.

Yanukovych's Party of the Regions said it was unperturbed by the court ruling, and added that world leaders including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown had congratulated him on his victory.

Ukraine's higher administrative court is likely to decide by the weekend on Tymoshenko's appeal. Anna German, the vice-chair of Yanukovych's party, dismissed its deliberations as a "mere formality".

"These proceedings can't overturn the obvious: The majority of Ukrainians have voted for Yanukovych," she said, according to AP. "The entire world has recognized Yanukovych's victory."

Viktor Nebozhenko, the head of the Ukrainian Barometer polling agency, predicted that the court would rule against Tymoshenko because many judges on the court support Yanukovych.

"Tymoshenko knows quite well that she has little chance of winning, but she will use the proceedings to make strong accusations," he said. "Tymoshenko's key goal is now to stay in the prime minister's seat. She has nothing to lose and is ready to offer promises and jobs."
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