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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ukraine PM drops lawsuit challenging defeat in presidential election
Steve Czajkowski at 10:13 AM ET

[JURIST] Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website, in Ukrainian] on Saturday withdrew [press release, in Ukrainian] her lawsuit [JURIST report] filed in the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine claiming that the country's presidential election was corrupt. Tymoshenko dropped the suit claiming she would not receive a fair hearing in the court. She had alleged [Guardian report] that widespread voter fraud allowed her opponent, Viktor Yanukovych [personal website, in Ukrainian], to win the election. The prime minister's allegations of unfairness came after the court refused to consider certain documentary evidence and to call witnesses from the various district and precinct election commissions. Despite dropping her legal challenge, Tymoshenko has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy [BBC report] of Yanukovych's election and has refused his calls for her to step down.

Tymoshenko appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine after an initial fraud appeal to the Ukrainian Central Election Committee [official website, in Ukrainian] was rejected. Tymoshenko had called for the hearing be televised, a request the court refused, as a way of ensuring that the Ukrainian people know the truth. Many believed Tymoshenko had little chance for success. Western leaders, including US President Barack Obama, have already acknowledged [Day report] Yanukovych as the winner and even many of Tymoshenko supporters have questioned her motivation for the lawsuit.

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