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Ukraine's Opposition Breaks Off Talks

Ukraine's street protests will continue (file photo) 30 November 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine's opposition says it is breaking off negotiations aimed at finding a resolution to the disputed presidential election and that it will continue street protests and blockades of government buildings.

The declaration today followed a vote by Ukraine's parliament to reject a motion of no confidence in the government. Supporters of Yushchenko broke through a fence surrounding the parliament building during the debate before being pushed back.

The parliament reconvenes tomorrow, as does Ukraine's Supreme Court, which met today to discuss allegations of election fraud.

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was declared the winner by the Central Election Commission, proposed that he and opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko both drop out if fraud is proven and a new election is held.

"I propose that neither Viktor Andriyevych Yushchenko, nor I run for president if it is proven legally that the elections have been falsified," Yanukovych said.

Yanukovych also offered, in the event he takes the presidency, to give Yushchenko the post of prime minister, but the opposition leader -- who claims the election was rigged -- declined.

"No thank you, I will not accept this offer," Yushchenko said.

Mediators from the European Union, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia began arriving in Kyiv tonight for another round of talks on ending Ukraine's election crisis.


[Click here for more RFE/RL coverage of Ukraine's disputed presidential election.]

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