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Ukraine high court delays validating parliament election results

[JURIST] The High Administrative Court of Ukraine has delayed validating the results of the Sept. 30 parliamentary election [JURIST report] pending the outcome of a legal challenge by the Communist Party of Ukraine [party website], a court spokesperson said Wednesday. The Communist Party argues that the vote was invalid due to alleged violations surrounding voting abroad. The announcement came as President Viktor Yuschenko approved a coalition [press release]
this week between his Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense Bloc [party website] and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc [party website] of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; BBC profile]. Together, the two parties won 228 seats in the 450-member Verkhovna Rada, while the opposition Party of Regions [party website], led by Yuschenko's long-time chief rival Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych [BBC profile], won 175 seats, although the court has not yet confirmed these results. AP has more.

The court's delay could create further tensions in the Ukraine, which was engulfed in political turmoil in recent months. A constitutional crisis erupted in April when Yushchenko issued a degree dissolving parliament [JURIST report]. Yanukovych and leaders of the Ukrainian parliament filed a legal challenge before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine [official website; JURIST news archive]. Yushchenko subsequently dismissed three Constitutional Court judges for alleged oath and ethnics violations [JURIST report], and appointed replacement judges [JURIST report] without consulting either Yanukovych or the Justice Ministry. In May, Yushchenko sought a lower court order to block the Constitutional Court from ruling on his April 2 decree following his rejection of the Constitutional Court's authority [JURIST reports].

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