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Ukraine high court denies opposition leaders' appeals to run in parliamentary elections

Ukraine's Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday declined to overturn a lower court decision prohibiting former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko [personal website; JURIST news archive] and former interior affairs minister Yuriy Lutsenko from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The court thus affirmed [UNA report] the August 11 decision of the Kyiv Administrative Appeal Court upholding the Central Electoral Commission's resolution No. 216 of August 8 in which it refused to register Tymoshenko and Lutsenko as parliamentary candidates. The appeal claimed that the provisions of the law "On Elections of People's Deputies of Ukraine" contradict Article 76 of the Constitution, which stipulates that a citizen whose conviction has not been withdrawn or canceled cannot be elected into the parliament. Tymoshenko has been sentenced to seven years [JURIST report] and Lutsenko to four years in prison on corruption charges.

Last month a Ukrainian appeals court postponed [JURIST report] the appeal hearing challenging Tymoshenko's corruption conviction and seven-year sentence. This marked the third postponement in that case. The appeal was last postponed in June [JURIST report]. Her tax evasion trial began [JURIST report] in April but has also been postponed several times. In May the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] ended an investigation [JURIST report] into the health care conditions of Tymoshenko, finding that the Ukrainian government provided her with adequate care. She previously alleged that prison guards were beating her and she refused to be treated [JURIST report] by prison doctors for back problems, believing they were under the direction of political rival President Viktor Yanukovych. Ukrainian prosecutors have also indicated that she will face charges [JURIST reports] in a 1996 contract killing.

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