KIEV, Aug. 11 – Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Saturday launched a campaign against the Central Election Commission following its decision to postpone registration of her party for the Sept. 30 election for technical reasons.
The decision was backed by CEC members loyal to the government. It was triggered by a controversy after Tymoshenko candidates, unlike candidates from all other parties, apparently failed to provide exact home addresses in a filing.
Commentators described the decision as a technicality that is likely to be fixed within days, but Tymoshenko had used the opportunity to launch a massive campaign accusing the CEC of bias.
“It’s clear what has happened,” Tymoshenko said at a press conference. “This is a direct order from [Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych not to register our bloc.”
The development puts media spotlight on the Tymoshenko group, which has been recently losing public support. The scandal may be apparently used by the group to try to revitalize the bloc, analysts said.
Vadym Karasiov, the head of the Institute for Political Strategies, a Kiev-based think tank, said the development may be deliberately triggered by the Tymoshenko bloc in order to boost its opposition image.
“Most likely this is a reaction to the situation that has been created by the Tymoshenko bloc,” Karasiov said. “I see a PR move by the Tymoshenko bloc to create an information event, and even the scandal.”
The Tymoshenko group has been losing public support against its partner, pro-Western alliance Our Ukraine-People’s Self-defense, which is loyal to President Viktor Yushchenko.