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Ukraine Opposition Asks For Election Monitors

6 December 2004 -- The Ukrainian opposition today asked the Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE, to send 2,000 observers to monitor the repeat presidential runoff election.

An oppositon representative, former foreign minister Boris Tarasyuk, said the new poll "requires a much bigger presence" of observers than the previous runoff, which was enmired in fraud.

The OSCE has already said it wants to field a big observer team.

Outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said today he would honor the Supreme Court's call for a repeat runoff election.

But Kuchma sidestepped the opposition's demand that he sack the government of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, in which parliament has expressed no confidence.

He said such a demand could only be achieved by changing the constitution.

"This [proposed political reform], in my opinion, can provide the answer [to the opposition's demands], including the dismissal of the government," Kuchma said. "If there is such a wish [to sack the government], it is necessary to make changes to the constitution and then immediately start forming a new government on the basis of those changes."

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana was due to join the Polish and Lithuanian presidents and a Russian envoy in Kyiv today for further mediation efforts.


[To see an archive of RFE/RL's full coverage and analysis since the Ukrainian crisis began, click here.]