Ukraine: Yanukovych a 'usurper'

2010-02-18 17:02

Kiev - The party of Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Thursday accused her triumphant election rival Viktor Yanukovych of seeking to usurp power by holding his presidential inauguration next week.

Tymoshenko has filed a complaint contending that Yanukovych's victory in presidential elections was marred by mass violations.

On Wednesday, a top court ordered that the official results be put on hold while the case is heard.

But parliament - where Yanukovych's Regions Party is the largest faction - has already set the inauguration for February 25 amid fears of a looming political crisis.

"Any actions aimed at inaugurating Viktor Yanukovych will be seen as an attempt to usurp state power," Deputy Prime Minister and top Tymoshenko ally Olexander Turchynov said in a statement published on her website.

He said that as the results had been suspended by court order, a swearing-in of Yanukovych would be no different to "inaugurating any person who has no document declaring the results of the vote."

Ukraine's supreme administrative court will start hearing the case on Friday and it is unclear whether the case will be wrapped up in time for the inauguration date.

Almost four percent

The deputy head of Tymoshenko's faction, Sergiy Sobolev, said the party was insisting that the February 25 inauguration be cancelled.

Yanukovych defeated Tymoshenko by around 3.5% or just under 890 000 votes in the February 7 election, according to the final official results published on Sunday.

While Tymoshenko claimed there was mass vote fraud, international observers praised the elections and Western leaders including US President Barack Obama have already congratulated Yanukovych on his victory.