Ukraine’s Supreme Court is scheduled to meet Thursday to review another election appeal filed by the losing presidential candidate, Viktor Yanukovych. This will delay the official announcement of winner in the December 26 presidential re-run election.
Mr. Yanukovych – citing fraud – is seeking invalidation of the run-off election, in which his opposition rival, Viktor Yushchenko, scored a decisive victory.
Ukraine’s Central Election Commission earlier rejected the same claim for lack of convincing evidence.
Mr. Yanukovych’s representative, Nestor Shufrych, says his camp is sure the final official results cannot be announced until the appeal has been decided.
Mr. Shufrych says the Yanukovych camp is going forward with the claims, despite holding out little hope that the justices will be impartial.
Earlier this week, the new head of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, Yaroslav Davydovych, said he expected to announce the official winner of the run-off presidential election in a matter of days, possibly even before Orthodox Christmas on January 7.
Late Wednesday, Mr. Davydovych was adjusting that assessment.
Mr. Davydovych now says the results will not be published until after all legal claims in the courts are exhausted. Just how long that will take, he says, is anybody’s guess. But he says it is clear that the results will not be announced on Thursday as had been widely expected.
The winning camp dismisses the appeal as yet another attempt by Mr. Yanukovych to delay the confirmation of Viktor Yushchenko as Ukraine’s next president.
— Lisa McAdams – Voice of America in Kiev, Ukraine — Reprinted with the permission of Voice of America