A Ukrainian court has upheld a decision to bar two jailed opposition leaders from registering as candidates for upcoming parliamentary elections. The decision Wednesday on former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko cannot be appealed. The United Opposition party had appealed a court decision to refuse to recognize a complaint against election officials who would not register Tymoshenko and Lutsenko for the October 28 elections because of their convictions.
Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of abuse of office in 2011 while she was prime minister. She has denied the charges. Lutsenko, who was found guilty of embezzlement and abuse of office, was sentenced earlier this year to four years in prison.
In an interview with VOA’s Ukrainian Service, Lutsenko called the prosecutions of Tymoshenko and himself “politically motivated.” He also said President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling party had determined that prosecuting the two will create a fear of Ukrainian authorities.