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U.S. Criticizes Ukrainian Election Campaign

A campaign poster for presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych 14 October 2004 -- The U.S. State Department has said it is disappointed in the Ukrainian presidential election campaign.

Ukrainians will go to the polls to elect a president on 31 October.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a written statement today that Washington is unhappy that the election campaign to date has fallen short of international standards.

Boucher said disruption of opposition rallies, muzzling of independent media, and other violations cast doubt on the Ukrainian government's commitment to its democratic obligations.

Boucher urged the Ukrainian authorities to end immediately what he called "the ongoing violations of democratic norms."