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Yanukovych Reported Ahead In Official Tally

22 November 2004 -- Thousands of people are gathering in central Kyiv today over a presidential election yesterday that opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko says was fraudulent.

The gathering came hours after Yushchenko told reporters at the Central Election Commission in Kyiv that election authorities are falsifying the results. He said he is convinced he is victorious over Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

"I believe in my victory, but we are saying that today that the authorities have launched a total falsification [of results]," Yushchenko said. "In the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, what we know as elections did not take place."

Central Electoral Commission chief Serhiy Kivalov today assured journalists that the ballots are being counted "quickly, but carefully."

The election commission says -- with 99.7 percent of the votes counted -- Yanukovych has 49.7 of the votes and Yushchenko has won 46.7 percent.

Exit polls conducted yesterday put Yushchenko as the winner.