Yanukovich inauguration on Feb 25

KIEV: Pro-Russia politician Viktor Yanukovich will be inaugurated as Ukraine’s new president

on February 25, according to a resolution passed today by the Ukrainian parliament.

The resolution stipulates that on “February 25 a solemn session of parliament be held in which the elected president swears the oath,” said parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.

Yanukovich defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by a narrow margin of some 3.5 percent or just under 890,000 votes in last week’s elections, according to full results published on Sunday.

But Tymoshenko has refused to recognise Yanukovich as the new president, alleging that the February 7 polls were marred by

mass falsifications affecting over one million votes. International observers described the elections as fair and democratic and Western governments have joined Russia in congratulating Yanukovich on his victory.

The prime minister’s Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) did not take part in the parliament vote to set the inauguration date, which was carried after 238 deputies voted in favour, just over the minimum of 226 required. Yanukovich’s election victory marked a remarkable comeback for a politician whose last bid for the presidency was derailed by the 2004 Orange Revolution, which brought a pro-Western government to power in Kiev.