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Ukraine court accepts PM's request to withdraw lawsuit

The Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine on Saturday accepted Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's request to withdraw her lawsuit against the Feb. 7 presidential runoff results.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko leaves the court room after speaking in the Higher Administrative Court in central Kiev, February 20, 2010. Tymoshenko on Saturday dropped her legal case challenging the election of President-elect Viktor Yanukovich, saying the court could not be trusted to bring in a fair verdict. [Xinhua] 

Judge Alexander Nechitailo said the court has accepted the withdrawal but rejected any criticism of its procedures.

Earlier Saturday, Tymoshenko withdrew her legal challenge to the presidential runoff vote, claiming she could not win because the court refused to consider documents that she said showed election fraud.

But President-elect Viktor Yanukovych's representative asked the court to continue dealing with the case, saying Tymoshenko withdrew the case because her claims about Yanukovych's election frauds are baseless.

Also Saturday, incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko congratulated Yanukovych on his "legitimate" election victory, expressed hope that Yanukovych will unite the nation and "defend" its nascent democratic traditions.

Ukraine held a presidential runoff election on Feb. 7 and the final vote count showed Yanukovych beat Tymoshenko by a narrow margin of 3.48 percent.

On Feb.14, Ukraine's Central Elections Commission (CEC) declared Yanukovych winner of the presidential election, Tymoshenko then filed an appeal against the runoff results, citing election frauds.

However, international observers, including those from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), have declared the elections "professional, transparent and honest" in a joint statement.

The Ukrainian parliament has decided that Yanukovych's inauguration ceremony will be held on Feb. 25.

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