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Not that we needed another reminder of the dismal state of Ukrainian politics, but an individual called Protyvsikh ("Against all" in Ukrainian) has registered as a candidate in the country's upcoming presidential election.

Vasil Protyvsikh, previously known as Vasil Humeniuk, has changed his last name in the hope that he'll get support from the many disillusioned Ukrainian voters out there.

Protyvsikh, 63, who is currently working as a manager at the Ivano-Frankivsk chamber of commerce and industry, said that he borrowed the $312,000 required to register as a candidate from relatives and friends.

"Againstall" is now the 15th candidate to register for Ukraine's January election.

Even sadder is that the "Againstall" question has come up before.

Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party on October 26 proposed to ban the "against all" ballot choice in order "to stimulate the active voting of the electorate," but the proposal was withdrawn two days later.

Recent polls show that some 10 percent of the Ukrainian population might opt to vote against all candidates, so Protyvsikh actually might end up doing reasonably well.

-- Komila Nabiyeva

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