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Kiev court says Timoshenko, Lutsenko may not appear on ballots

September 03, 2012, 20:43 UTC+3

The court also rejected the opposition’s appeal to stop printing the ballots

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KIEV, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — Kiev’s Administrative Court of Appeals rejected the opposition’s lawsuit against the Central Election Commission which had refused to include former Prime Minister and opposition Batkivshchina party leader Yulia Timoshenko and ex-Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko in the ballots for the upcoming parliamentary elections in October.

“The judges said that Yulia Timoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko have not received the status of election process subjects and therefore cannot be included in the ballots,” Batkivshchina’s press service said on Monday, September 3.

It said, however, that the court ruling can be contested in the Higher Administrative Court within two days.

The court also rejected the opposition’s appeal to order the Central Election Commission to suspend the approval of the ballot form without the names of Timoshenko and Lutsenko and to stop printing the ballots.

The judges said the appellant had failed to present sufficient evidence to prove that its interests had been violated.

The Central Election Commission has already approved the form the ballots that do not mention either Timoshenko or Lutsenko since they had been denied registration as candidates due to outstanding 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 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.

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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