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Ukraine: Yanukovych Files Last Legal Appeal

  • Lisa McAdams

Ukraine's former Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovych, has filed his last legal appeal with the Supreme Court over the December 26 rerun presidential election won by his rival, opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. The appeal has been eagerly awaited because once it is heard, it clears the way for the winner's inauguration.

Mr. Yanukovych's lawyer, Nestor Shuffrych, delivered more than 600 pages of documents to court officials Friday morning, arriving in a mini van to accommodate the large load.

Mr. Yanukovych, who had his first-round win annulled for fraud by the Supreme Court, alleges the second round was just as full of violations and is seeking that it too be overturned. The Supreme Court now has five days to examine the appeal and issue a ruling.

The justices have already ruled against at least 12 of Mr. Yanukovych's other appeals. But he has refused to concede.

Submission of this latest complaint has been repeatedly delayed in what Mr. Yushchenko's camp says is a deliberate attempt to prevent him from assuming office. Once the Supreme Court issues a ruling, parliament can set a date for the winners inauguration.