KIEV, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine's united opposition Fatherland has decided to nominate Yulia Timoshenko as the opposition’s single candidate for the presidential elections in 2015, Fatherland council head Arseny Yatsenyuk said at the opposition congress on Friday.
The decision is signed by Alexander Turchinov, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Boris Tarasyuk, Nikolai Tomenko, Anatoly Gritsenko, Vyacheslav Kirilenko, Nikolai Martynenko, Irina Lutsenko (former Ukrainian interior minister Yuri Lutsenko's wife) and Vladimir Bondarenko.
On October 11, 2011, a Kiev district court sentenced Timoshenko to seven years' imprisonment for power abuse in 2009 when gas contracts with Russia were signed. Timoshenko serves her term in a prison in Kharkov since late December 2011.
A Kharkov court continues hearings of another criminal case against Timoshenko in connection with financial abuses when she headed the corporation Unified Energy Systems of Ukraine. The ex-premier is charged with organization of currency income concealment, repeated tax evasions exceeding two million dollars and embezzlement of budget funds by illegal compensation of more than three million dollars for value added taxes.
Under the Ukrainian law, convicted persons cannot run for the presidency.
According to analysts, the nomination of Timoshenko as a presidential candidate may be nothing more but a political PR move. At the same time, they note that the step may indicate that supporters of the ex-premier hope that Timoshenko will be released earlier and cleared of her criminal record before the beginning of the presidential race.