Tymoshenko defiance plunges Ukraine into uncertainty
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 18:22
Kiev: Ukraine was on Wednesday braced for fresh political instability after the party of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko refused to acknowledge her defeat in presidential elections over alleged violations.

Three days after the pro-Russia Viktor Yanukovych beat Tymoshenko by a margin of some 3.5 per cent, she has yet to concede and her party has called for a partial recount.

With politician tensions riding high, thousands of Yanukovych supporters today rallied for the third day in a row outside the headquarters of the election commission with the aim of ensuring the results stood.

Tymoshenko has disappeared from public view since making a short comment on exit polls after Sunday's vote, with aides repeatedly announcing and then cancelling news conferences.

It was now unclear when the usually talkative prime minister famed for her golden hair braid would reappear.

But aides said the prime minister's party would allege in court that substantial regional poll violations had taken place and could then even question the overall outcome.

The conduct of Sunday's vote and the campaign that preceded it have received ringing endorsements from Western observers and governments who have characterised it as free, fair and in line with democratic standards.

The foreign ministry of Canada, home to one of the largest ethnic Ukrainian communities in the world, meanwhile called for the post-election process to continue in an orderly fashion and also made no mention of Yanukovych.


First Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2010, 18:22

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