The daughter of jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko warned that the upcoming parliamentary elections in her country would be rigged and could cement a dictatorship under President Viktor Yanukovych unless the international community intervenes.
"If the democratic world and the observer missions (do) not state at the end of the day that (Sunday's elections) are not free and not fair, we might see the legitimization of a Ukrainian dictatorship, of a Yanukovych dictatorship," Yevgenia Tymoshenko said at a press conference in Geneva, the Daily Telegraph reported.
"And then it will be really too late to save Ukraine democracy."
Ukraine’s parliamentary elections take place this weekend, two years after Yanukovych defeated the elder Tymoshenko in the presidential elections. Tymoshenko contested the results, claiming widespread fraud, but eventually withdrew her appeal after concluding that the judicial system was biased in favor of Yanukovych.
The year after Tymoshenko’s defeat, she was charged with abuse of office and sentenced to seven years, which she viewed as a reprisal from Yanukovych for challenging his election victory. The U.S. and E.U. have also criticized the sentence as politically motivated, but have recognized Yanukovych’s government as legitimate.