KIEV, Aug. 14 – The group led by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko won a court ruling on Tuesday that obliges the Central Election Commission to quickly register group candidates for the Sept. 30 election.
The Kiev district administrative court ruled the candidates must be registered despite their main filing having no exact home addresses. The Tymoshenko group apparently provided addresses in a separate filing that features brief autobiographies for all candidates.
The ruling may end a four-day standoff between the Tymoshenko group and the CEC after the commission postponed the group registration, citing the missing home addresses in the filing.
The ruling is a humiliation to the CEC, which is dominated by members loyal to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. These members have been citing the law for their refusal to register the Tymoshenko bloc, while all other parties had been forced to comply with the CEC instructions.
The standoff, with hundreds of Tymoshenko supporters flocking to the CEC offices, forced President Viktor Yushchenko to intervene on Monday. Yushchenko urged the CEC to quickly register the group, while also asking Tymoshenko to stop protest campaigning in front of the CEC offices.
Tymoshenko on Tuesday addressed the court in person before the ruling had been made. She praised the ruling.
“I am happy that judges have been able to approve this decision,” Tymoshenko said. “I believe that all provocations against our group will now be over.”
The CEC has two days to appeal the ruling with the High Administrative Court or to comply and to register the Tymoshenko bloc for the election no later than Wednesday.
Pro-Yanukovych members now face a dilemma on whether to appeal the ruling or to comply; either way their position will be shattered, a Tymoshenko lawyer said.
Should the CEC not seek to appeal the ruling, Tymoshenko lawyers may file an appeal with the Prosecutor General Office seeking to punish pro-Yanukovych members of CEC for selective use of the law in respect to all parties.
Should the CEC decide to appeal the ruling, it may only lead to more of humiliation to the pro-Yanukovych members of CEC.
A lawyer at the Tymoshenko bloc said he expected the pro-Yanukovych members of CEC to appeal the ruling. “They will probably not be in a hurry to implement the ruling,” the lawyer said. (tl/ez)