Tymoshenko to challenge Ukraine vote in court

Defeated candidate Tymoshenko said she would challenge the results of the presidential election in court.

Tymoshenko to challenge Ukraine vote in court

Defeated candidate Yulia Tymoshenko on Saturday refused to recognise her rival Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine's new president and said she would challenge the results of the presidential election in court.

In her first real public appearance since Sunday's poll, the 49-year-old Tymoshenko said: "I want to clearly state: Yanukovich is not our president. Whatever happens in future, he will never become the legitimately elected president of Ukraine."

But, in a televised broadcast to the nation, she promised not to call people out in mass street protests like those of the 2004 Orange Revolution, when she helped lead a successful challenge to his election and had it overturned as fraudulent.

"I will not call another 'Maidan' (Independence Square demonstration) and will not allow public protests," she said.

According to preliminary official figures, Yanukovich beat her by 3.5 percentage points with about 880,000 more votes.

"Today I can firmly tell you that Ukraine's elections were falsified and this is not a political declaration but a clear legal assessment by lawyers," said Tymoshenko.

"With all this proof, I have taken the only possible decision: to challenge the results of the election in court. I will defend our state and the choice we made on the basis of legal documents," she said.

Tymoshenko's stubborn refusal to concede to Yanukovich flies in the face of the West's endorsement of the official result. U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday led world leaders, the European Union and NATO in congratulating him on his victory.

But she said some OSCE observers had proof, including video material, of "systematic falsification" in the voting and were ready to speak out on this in court.

Her continued refusal to concede victory to Yanukovich or heed his call to resign as prime minister spells continuing turmoil for Ukraine.

The next step in the protracted wrangle will be the Central Election Commission's announcement next week of the official result and declaration of Yanukovich as the winner.

Tymoshenko's camp is then expected to challenge this in a Kiev high court on the basis of the "proof" which it says it has compiled from hundreds of polling stations around the country.


Agencies

Last Mod: 14 Şubat 2010, 16:28
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