Ukrainian court bans mass rallies on 'Orange' protest square

A Ukrainian court banned all mass rallies on Kiev's Independence Square -- the heart of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" protests, local media said.

Ukrainian court bans mass rallies on 'Orange' protest square

A Ukrainian court banned all mass rallies on Kiev's Independence Square -- the heart of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" protests -- for the next three weeks as the country holds a presidential election, local media reported.

The square was the focus of weeks of demonstrations against electoral fraud in the winter of 2004-5 by tens of thousands of Ukrainians. They succeeded in overturning the rigged victory of former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and bringing the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko to power as president.

Yanukovich and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yushchenko's erstwhile Orange Revolution ally and now his political enemy, are the front-runners in Sunday's election. Yanukovich and Tymoshenko are likely to face each other in a second round run-off on Feb. 7, analysts say.

The Kiev Administrative Court ruled in favour of a demand by local authorities to ban rallies from Jan. 9 to Feb. 5 because so many parties -- including Yanukovich's Regions Party -- had wanted to stage demonstrations during that time.

Local media, citing court sources on the decision, did not give any further details. The court was not available for comment. Court decisions are often contested and overturned in Ukraine.

Reuters
Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2010, 08:15
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