Ukrainian Court Backs Tymoshenko In Election Registration Dispute

KIEV, Ukraine -- A Kiev court ruled Tuesday that Ukraine's election authorities must decide by Friday whether the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko bloc can be registered for early parliamentary polls.

Last Friday, the Central Election Commission failed to decide within a three-day deadline on whether to register Tymoshenko bloc members, citing non-compliance with election laws.

Among other things, Tymoshenko's candidates failed to provide their addresses.

Volodymyr Pylypenko, a lawyer for the bloc, cited the Kiev District Administrative Court as saying it "deems the actions of the Central Election Commission in relation to the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc's registration to be illegal, and instructs the commission to consider the bloc's registration for the 2007 early parliamentary elections within two days."

Early elections were set on June 4 as part of a deal between the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his arch-rival Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, amid a crisis that broke out after the president accused the premier-controlled majority coalition of usurping power in early April, and ordered the legislature's dissolution.

The election campaign officially began in Ukraine August 2, 60 days before the elections.

Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, earlier accused parliamentary coalition parties of colluding to eliminate her bloc from the election campaign.

Supporters of her faction started rallying Saturday in front of the Election Commission building.

The president has asked the election authorities to reconsider registering Yulia Tymoshenko's faction for the campaign.

Members of parliamentary majority parties returned the allegation, saying the Tymoshenko bloc had been exerting pressure on election commission officials.

According to opinion polls, the bloc led by Tymoshenko, Yushchenko's outspoken ally in the 2004 "orange revolution" that swept him to power, which has consistently opposed the current premier, is the third most popular political faction in Ukraine, backed by 11.6%-14.3% of the electorate.

Source: RIA Novosti