Kyiv, August 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Batkivschyna United Opposition has filed a lawsuit at Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeals against the Central Election Commission (CEC) for its refusal to register former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko as candidates for people’s deputies.
The lawsuit reads that “under Part 3 of Article 76 of the Constitution of Ukraine convictions may be the reason for not electing a person as people’s deputy, but cannot be the reason for the refusal to register the person as a candidate,” according to a posting on Batkivschyna’s Web site.
“The convictions could be overturned or have expired before the end of the election process,” reads the lawsuit.
According to the document, the cases of Tymoshenko and Lutsenko are being considered by courts of appeals and both convicts could be acquitted.
Batkivschyna also noted that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on July 3 ruled that the Ukrainian authorities violated a number of provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms by the detention of Lutsenko, as well as confirmed that the arrest was politically motivated. The ECHR will hear to the Tymoshenko v. Ukraine case on August 28.
On August 8, the Central Election Commission refused to register Tymoshenko and Lutsenko as candidates for people’s deputies. Ten out of the 14 members of the CEC that were present at a sitting on Wednesday supported this decision.
A member of the CEC, Oleksandr Shelest, said that the CEC received materials from the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine and the Interior Ministry of Ukraine that confirm that Tymoshenko and Lutsenko have outstanding convictions.
Four members of the CEC opposed this decision. In particular, Zhanna Usenko-Chorna said that the CEC is a special agency that has power to protect interests and voting rights of Ukrainian citizens.
She added that the CEC should take into account the Ukrainian legislation and international agreements, including the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as the practice of the European Court of Human Rights, while making such decisions.
On October 11, 2011, the Pechersky District Court in Kyiv sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years of imprisonment for exceeding her authority when signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009. She has been serving her sentence at the Kachanivska correctional facility in Kharkiv since late December 2011.
On February 27, 2012, Pechersky District Court in Kyiv found Lutsenko guilty of committing official crimes and sentenced him to four years in prison, with confiscation of his property.
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