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Ukraine election results put on hold

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenk lodged an appeal against the election result.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenk lodged an appeal against the election result.
  • Yulia Tymoshenko lodged appeal against election results
  • Results had declared Victor Yanukovich as winner
  • Yanukovich is widely seen as having close ties to Moscow

(CNN) -- A Ukranian court on Wednesday put on hold the results of presidential elections that declared Viktor Yanukovych winner pending an appeal from his rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Tymoshenko lodged an appeal with Ukraine's Higher Administrative Court to contest the official results of the February 10 run-off. The court partially granted her appeal and stopped the Central Election Commission's decision on the outcome of the vote.

Tymoshenko had fought a close race with former prime minister Yanukovich. He was due to be inaugurated February 25, the Ukrainian parliament said this week.

The court did not grant Tymoshenko's request that Yanukovich not be allowed to take part in the swearing-in ceremony, saying the court has no legal grounds to stop him because he is not a defendant in the case.

A full hearing on Tymoshenko's appeal will be held later, the court said.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which observed the election, said it found no fault in the process. But Tymoshenko has refused to concede defeat and said early on that she wanted a recount.

Yanukovich's win was a remarkable comeback for the former prime minister five years after he was ousted in a populist uprising.

He has strong links to Russia and a checkered election history.

In 2004, Yanukovich was declared the winner of the presidential election before the ballot's legitimacy was questioned and he was accused of stealing the race. A pro-Western uprising, known as the Orange Revolution, followed and Yanukovich's win was annulled.

Current President Victor Yushchenko won the revote.

In recent interview with CNN, Yanukovich accounted for his dramatic comeback by saying voters remembered how he was able to improve the economy in the past. He said people voted for him because they believe he can improve the economy.

Though accused of corruption in the past, Yanukovich said he offers the changes that Ukrainians want.

Asked about his vision for the country over the next decade, Yanukovich said he aims to unite Ukraine and make it one of the top 20 economies in the world.

-- CNN's Michael Sefanov in Moscow, Russia, contributed to this report.