Pro-West Ukrainian leader refuses to accept poll outcome

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 17:16

Moscow: Firebrand Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko who permeated the West`s `Orange Revolution` in
Ukraine today refused to accept the poll verdict after she was
defeated by pro-Russian leader Victor Yanukovych, an outcome
that has come as a rude shock to the US and the EU.

Seeking a third round of counting of the Sunday`s
presidential poll and planning to legally challenge the
outcome in which she was defeated by a slim margin, Tymoshenko
said she will never "recognise the legitimacy of Yanukovych`s
victory."

Tymoshenko, 49, who held an in-camera emergency
meeting of her BYuT bloc`s parliamentary faction last night
told her supporters that she will not recognise the victory of
her rival 59-year old Viktor Yanukovych.

She also ordered the team of her lawyers to challenge
poll results in courts of different levels and prepare for the
third round of voting, UNIAN news agency reported.

The Western analysts note that the firebrand leader of
2004 `Orange Revolution` through US and EU sponsored mass
street protests is facing a `moment of truth`.

According to an online paper Ukrainiskaya Pravda some
of her party members voiced their support for Yanukovych as
president and advised Tymoshenko to shift to the opposition.

Commenting on Tymoshenko`s statement at the secret
meeting of her parliamentary party, Yanukovych said she could
"only delay my inauguration."

Meanwhile after the counting of 99.94 percent votes
by the Central Election Commission (CEC) declared that Viktor
Yanukovych has got 48.

94 percent votes against Tymoshenko`s 45.48 percent
and the margin has risen to 3.46 per cent. CEC said 4.36
percent of votes were cast against both the candidates.

A simple majority is needed in the presidential
runoff election. The official results are to be announced by
February 17. Tymoshenko earlier vowed to take her supporters
to the street if she was not satisfied with the election.

She postponed her news conference scheduled for
yesterday.

"It is not often that the woman with the famous
golden braid, whose glamour permeated the Orange Revolution
five years ago, retreats into the shadows and maintains a
strict silence.

But this is a moment of truth for her and she has a
tough set of options," BBC Russian service said.

But the odds are now stacked against Tymoshenko as
the teams of international monitors have unanimously declared
that the voting was free and fair.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - 17:16

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