Pro-West Ukrainian leader refuses to accept poll outcome
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Last Updated: Tuesday, February 09, 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.


First Published: Tuesday, February 09, 2010, 17:16

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