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Ukraine awaits Supreme Court decision

Ukraine awaits Supreme Court decision
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The waiting game goes on in Kiev where supporters of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko are maintaining a vigil in protest against what they believe was a rigged presidential election. Their case has been boosted by the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, who signalled his backing for a new election to resolve the standoff. Kuchma, who favoured Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich in the campaign, had earlier tried to broker a negotiated settlement between the two sides.

All eyes will be on the Supreme Court today where more than 20 judges are considering a call from Yuschenko for the ballot to be invalidated on the grounds of electoral fraud. Yuschenko has said a ruling could come today but some analysts believe a decision may be weeks off.

He has also expected to push a no-confidence vote in Yanukovich’s government in parliament today. The prime minister shows no signs of capitulating. He has said he would accept a new vote if fraud was proven to have taken place. But he added that he would consider illegal any attempt to re-stage the poll in some eastern regions.

His supporters there have been coming onto the streets in increasing numbers. The mass protests and general strike are beginning to take their toll on the country. The Finance Minister has said the banking system was not under threat but the central bank has warned of a run on bank deposits.