Yushchenko refuses to sign law on Presidential elections

In an ongoing attempt to derail the Presidential elections, Ukraine’s incumbent President, Viktor Yushchenko, has refused to sign the law on the conduct of the Presidential election. Yushchenko in a published statement has said he will challenge the legislation in Ukraine’s Constitutional Court.

The President had earlier vetoed the legislation but his veto was overturned by a constitutional 2/3rds majority of the parliament. The new law has limited the term of the official election campaign from 120 days to 90 days and now requires candidates seeking election pay a 500,000 UAH deposit which will only be refunded to those candidates that progress to the second round run-off ballot. The law will now be signed into existence by Ukraine’s Parliamentary Speaker.

Viktor Yushchenko, who has less then 4% support in the opinion polls, is set to lose the first round of voting and his deposit.

Yushchenko’s statement published on the official Presidential web site fails to outline any grounds for his appeal to the Constitutional Court.

In June 2009 The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on Ukraine to adopt without delay changes to the law on the elections of the President.

Presidential elections are scheduled for January 17, 2010 with the official campaign set to start on October 19.

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