UPDATE ~ Multilateral group works toward "political and legal compromise" in Ukraine while court action awaited

[JURIST] Following up on earlier reports today in JURIST's Paper Chase, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's office announced late Friday that a multiparty, multilateral working group has been established to reach what Kuchma previously described as a "political and legal compromise" in the Ukrainian election crisis. The group's establishment was announced after a meeting between Kuchma, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych (certified by the Central Election Commission as the winner of Sunday's presidential run-off), opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, and international representatives Javier Solana of the European Union, Jan Kubiš of the OSCE, President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski, President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, and head of the Russian Duma Borys Gryzlov. In a joint statement after their meeting the parties said they "expect the Supreme Court to act publicly and transparently while examining claims connected to the presidential elections in Ukraine." More on the meeting is available from the Yushchenko campaign's English-language website.

6:35 PM ET - From Ukraine, the Kyiv Post reports somewhat less optimistically that the three hours of direct talks yielded "no resolution", although President Kuchma emphasized that all parties stood against "any use of force that would lead to bloodshed." A Yushchenko spokesman said a re-vote was one of the options on the table. The Supreme Court will hear the opposition's appeal on last Sunday's vote on Monday, November 29. The Post has more.

9:40 PM ET - Addressing supporters in Kyiv's Independence Square after the meeting, Yushchenko pressed for a quick resolution to the crisis and appeared to reject Prime Minister Yanukovych's position that the dispute over the election be settled solely in the courts:

Yanukovych offered the following... we wait for court rulings on all claims of which we have eleven thousand! And then we put an end to it. We will be waiting for rulings on all the complaints till [mayflowers].
Yushchenko's team have given authorities two days to accede to their demands. A press statement on his website has more.

 

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