msnbc.com news services
updated 2/17/2010 7:08:08 AM ET 2010-02-17T12:08:08

A Ukrainian court said Wednesday that it has suspended the results of this month's presidential election, pending review of an appeal filed by the declared loser.

Ukraine's Administrative Court said in a statement that it has suspended the Central Election Commission's ruling announcing that Viktor Yanukovych won the Feb. 7 election.

The results showed Yanukovych winning by just 3.5 percentage points.

The court is to rule on the appeal from Yanukovych's rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, by next Thursday, which parliament has set as inauguration day for the new president.

Tymoshenko has refused to concede and is now pressing to prove her claims of election fraud in court.

However, the charismatic figure has promised not to call people out in mass protests like those of the Orange Revolution, when she helped lead a successful challenge to Yanukovich's election victory in 2004 and had it overturned as fraudulent.

This time Tymoshenko is going against the wishes of the West, where governments have put pressure on her to recognize, in the national interest, that the fight is over.

International monitors hailed the vote as an "impressive display" of democracy.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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