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Loser In Ukraine Vote Files Appeal

Losing presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych has appealed the results of last month's election to Ukraine's Supreme Court, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday.

The high court received the appeal Tuesday and would begin considering it Thursday, spokeswoman Lianna Shlyaposhnikova said.

Yanukovych had vowed to challenge the results of the Dec. 26 court-ordered presidential revote, which showed his opponent, opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, winning a solid victory, according to preliminary results.

The preliminary tally showed Yushchenko with 51.99 percent to Yanukovych's 44.19 – a difference of about 2.3 million votes.

Still, Yanukovych has refused to concede defeat.

Yanukovych, who resigned as Ukraine's prime minister last week, acknowledged there was little chance his appeal would be successful.

"We are still fighting, but I don't have much hope," he said in a televised New Year's Eve address.

Last week, Yanukovych filed volumes of complaints with the Central Election Commission, alleging mass fraud, but the commission dismissed his appeal.

International observers have said that they saw no evidence of the mass vote rigging that marred the Nov. 21 round of voting, in which Yanukovych claimed victory.

Yanukovych has seen much of his support fall away, losing the backing of outgoing President Leonid Kuchma and watching as many of his top advisers deserted him. He returned to work as prime minister after the revote, but the opposition blockaded his government headquarters, refusing to let him convene a Cabinet session. The meeting went ahead in another building without him.

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