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Ukraine's Yushchenko clears last hurdles
Updated: 2005-01-20 08:54

Western-leaning reformer Viktor Yushchenko's long and tension-filled drive to become Ukraine's president cleared its final hurdles before dawn Thursday when the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the losing candidate and government newspapers printed election results.

After deliberations that stretched to 2:30 a.m., the court announced it had rejected the appeal of Viktor Yanukovych, the former prime minister who was seen as likely to bring Ukraine closer into Russia's sphere of influence.

But the verdict came only after government newspapers went to press with the election results — a move that means the inauguration date can be set.

Yushchenko's camp has said it hopes for the inauguration to be held Friday or Saturday.

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