Ukraine's Supreme Court has lifted a ban on the official publication of election results from the December 26 re-run presidential election. The decision clears the way for the inauguration of a new president.
The decision by Ukraine's Supreme Court is the first real break in days that signals a possible end to the nearly three months of political uncertainty following the hotly-contested and disputed presidential re-run election.
The ban was enacted after the losing candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, filed his last of more than 12 legal appeals with the Supreme Court challenging the final, official results. He claims the re-run election should be invalidated, and a new election called, due to what he says was widespread fraud.
The court will continue to hear that claim through Friday. But Tuesday's ruling appears to mean that the former prime minister's legal team is losing ground and can likely do little to overturn the official results.
Once the results are published in two official government newspapers, parliament will then be free to swear-in the declared winner, opposition candidate Viktor Yuschenko
Mr. Yanukovych's legal representative, Taras Chornovyl, described the justice's decision as unprecedented, and said it only serves to show their bias in favor of Mr. Yushchenko.
Mr. Chornovyl says the decision was politically motivated and is not worthy of a democratic European nation.
A spokesman for Mr. Yushchenko welcomed lifting the ban.
Mikola Katernichuk broke out in a wide grin as he said the decision means that the inauguration will finally happen.
In the first days after the re-run, it was widely thought that Mr. Yushchenko would be inaugurated before the end of last year.
The ongoing legal process has made it all but impossible to organize the formal inauguration process. Tens-of-thousands of Ukrainians are expected to attend a public celebration of the inauguration in Kiev. Mr. Yushchenko invited the public to the celebration during the massive opposition street protests last November that helped to secure his victory.