A member of the team of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said they will say sorry if opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych is officially declared the winner of Ukraine’s presidential elections after votes are recounted at certain polling stations.
Even before official presidential vote results have been announced in Ukraine, Yanukovych, who in line with final preliminary results defeated Tymoshenko in the February 7 runoff by 3.5%, has received a flurry of congratulations from Western powers and organizations but the Tymoshenko team spoke of mass rigging and demanded a recount at over 1,300 polling stations.
“After that [final official results] we will go into opposition to Yanukovych, period… We will apologize and go into opposition,” Oleksandr Turchynov, a first deputy premier and the head of Tymoshenko’s election headquarters, told the Inter TV channel on Friday.
He said the Tymoshenko Bloc will not form any coalition with Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
Turchynov said Tymoshenko will speak to journalists after official results are announced, which should happen by February 17. Tymoshenko last spoke on elections on the runoff day, February 7. Her press conferences were postponed several times after.
Turchynov also said the Tymoshenko team is preparing to submit a lawsuit to Ukraine’s Supreme Administrative Court regarding the alleged rigging.
“It includes several dozen pages, and believe me the lawsuit outlines specific facts of violations, both systemic and local, at polling stations in certain electoral districts,” he said.
Ukraine has been plagued by political rows since the 2005 elections.
In the past couple of years Tymoshenko, a leader of the “orange revolution” protests that overturned Yanukovych’s tainted victory in 2004, openly squabbled with her former ally, outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko. The feud badly damaged Ukraine’s economy as it struggled with the global crisis, effectively forcing potential foreign creditors to hold back rescue packages because of domestic political turmoil.
Yanukovych said Ukraine would focus on ties with Russia and other ex-Soviet states, but would also seek closer relations with the European Union and the United States.