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Ukrainians Voting In Runoff Presidential Election


http://gdb.rferl.org/C426FAD2-5147-469F-8DD6-DB3B396C7A23_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/C426FAD2-5147-469F-8DD6-DB3B396C7A23_mw800_mh600.jpg The Kuchma era is nearing its end (file photo) 21 November 2004 -- Voters in Ukraine today are voting in the runoff presidential election between Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.

In a pre-election national address, outgoing President Leonid Kuchma said yesterday that there will be "no revolutions" arising from the vote.

The comment was an apparent reference to Yushchenko, who has vowed to bring his supporters into the streets if it appears authorities appear to be using fraud to throw the election to Yanukovych.

Kuchma, who has publicly endorsed Yanukovych, pledged that authorities would conduct the election in a manner worthy of a 21st century European country.

The election is being closely watched by the European Union, Russia, and the United States, who have all sent observers to monitor the poll.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has openly backed Yanukovych, while U.S. President George W. Bush has warned that if the runoff is not free and fair, Washington will review its relations with Ukraine.

For more coverage of the presidential election in the Ukrainian language, see our Ukrainian Service website

For analysis of the election (in English), see: "Ukraine's Compromised Choice" and "Voters Brace For Presidential Runoff Amid Allegations Of Dirty Tricks"


(Reuters/AP/AFP)
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