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Timoshenko, Lutsenko not to appear on ballots in legislative elections

August 29, 2012, 20:47 UTC+3
The opposition list will be led by Arseny Yatsenyuk
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

KIEV, August 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Ukrainian Central Election Commission has approved the form, text and colour of ballots to be used in the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country slated for October 2012.

Former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko and ex-Interior Ministry Yuri Lutsenko will not be mentioned among the opposition candidates because of their outstanding criminal convictions. The opposition list will be led by Arseny Yatsenyuk.

Earlier, the CEC refused to register Timoshenko and Lutsenko as candidates from the opposition.

Ukraine’s Higher Administrative Court rejected the united opposition’s lawsuit against the Central Election Commission, in which it demanded that Timoshenko and Lutsenko be registered as candidates.

Opposition member Ruslan Knyazevich said the Court of Appeals had failed to take into account the relevant articles of the constitution, according to which the restrictions on electing a person with an outstanding conviction to the parliament do not apply to his registration as a candidate.

Opposition lawyers claim that “there is always a probability that a person’s conviction can be dismissed or he can serve out his sentence during the election process that lasts more than three months”.

On July 30, a congress of the united opposition resolved that Timoshenko would lead the list of opposition candidates in the parliamentary elections slated for October 28. Lutsenko is on the list as well. However effective legislation does not allow a convict to run for parliament.

On October 20, 2011, the Prosecutor General's Office cancelled the decision to close the criminal case against Timoshenko in which she was charged with embezzlement of more than 25 million hryvnia (more than 10 million U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of 1995-1997, when Timoshenko headed the Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine) and tax evasion in the amount of more than 20 million hryvnia.

On October 11, 2011, Kiev’s Pechersky District Court sentenced Timoshenko to seven years in prison.

Timoshenko has also been barred from holding public positions for three years and has to pay a penalty of 189 million U.S. dollars in damages to Naftogaz Ukrainy.

In late December 2011, Timoshenko was transferred from the investigation prison to a correctional facility in the eastern Kharkov region.

Ex-Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko was detained on December 26, 2010 by the Security Service near his home. On December 27, 2010, the Pechersky Court ordered him into custody. The trial has been on since May 2011. The majority of 150 witnesses called to testify in court spoke in his support, and one-third did not show up.

Lutsenko said the verdict in his case was politically motivated and he would prove his case legally and politically.

Twenty-two parties will appear on the ballots in the official Ukrainian language. 

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