Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tymoshenko's Bloc Barred from Ukrainian Elections

KIEV -- Ukraine's elections commission Saturday refused to register candidates from Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc for next month's parliamentary elections, and supporters of the group erected a tent camp in central Kiev on Sunday to protest.

The Central Election Commission declined to register candidates from Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko because the group had failed to state its members' exact addresses.

Tymoshenko, in a statement, called the move illegal and said the bloc's registration was stalled by commission members loyal to Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

"These marionettes have just fulfilled Yanukovych's direct order," Tymoshenko said.

Yanukovych's supporters rejected Tymoshenko's allegations and accused her of deliberately creating a scandal around her political force to boost its popularity.

"Who is interested in a scandal around documents filled out the wrong way? ... Who is building its ratings on scandals? I think the answer is obvious," said Olena Lukash, a senior member of Yanukovych's Party of Regions.

The early parliamentary elections called for Sept. 30 defused a months-long confrontation between President Viktor Yushchenko and his foe Yanukovych, which broke out after Yushchenko ordered the parliament dissolved. But the rejection of candidates from the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko would likely raise questions about the vote's legitimacy. Tymoshenko, is highly popular; recent polls have shown the bloc attracting about the same level of support as Yushchenko's Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense party.

On Sunday, Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense protested the denial of registration and urged the election commission to reverse its move.

About 1,000 activists from Tymoshenko's bloc clad in white T-shirts displaying the bloc's logo -- a red heart -- rallied outside the election commission building in downtown Kiev. They put up more than 100 tents.