Ukraine President-Elect Yanukovych Plans Modest Inauguration

KIEV, Ukraine -- Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's president-elect, will have a modest inauguration ceremony due to the ex-Soviet republic's economic woes, Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported on Sunday.

President-elect Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission on February 14 officially declared Yanukovych, leader of the opposition Party of Regions, as the winner of the presidential election. Yanukovych's inauguration has been scheduled for February 25.

Sergei Lyovochkin, deputy chairman of the Party of Regions, told UNIAN that Yanukovych had made a decision on a modest but solemn inauguration ceremony so that the Ukrainian people could be proud of that day.

The inauguration ceremony will begin at 10 in the morning (8:00 GMT) in the Supreme Rada, the country's parliament, where Yanukovych will be sworn in. The ceremony will then move to the doorsteps of the presidential office building where Yanukovych will hear a report from the chief of the Ukrainian General Staff.

At 14:00 (12:00 p.m. GMT), a small reception ceremony will be held for foreign delegations in the Ukrainian House in Kiev on the occasion of Yanukovych's inauguration.

"No parades or fireworks are planned," Lyovochkin said, adding that the new president would work much on the inauguration day and hold a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of foreign delegations who would arrive in Ukraine.

The final obstacle to Yanukovych's inauguration was removed on Saturday when Prime Minster Yulia Tymoshenko, his rival in the presidential runoff refusing to concede her defeat, unexpectedly withdrew a legal appeal contesting the results of the February 7 presidential runoff.

Tymoshenko, who lost the runoff vote by 3.48%, appealed the election results in Ukraine's Supreme Administrative Court on Tuesday. The court then suspended the Central Election Commission's official announcement of Yanukovych's victory in the runoff.

Source: RIA Novosti