Kyiv, 1 November 1999 (RFE/RL) -- With 90 percent of the vote
counted in Ukraine's presidential election, a runoff pitting incumbent
Leonid Kuchma against Communist Party chief Petro Symonenko now seems
certain. According to the latest results from the Electoral Commission --
based on a 90-percent vote count -- Kuchma leads with 36 percent of the
vote. His nearest rival, Symonenko has 22.5 percent. With neither candidate
likely to receive an overall majority, Kuchma and Symonenko are now
expected to face each other in a runoff election on November 14.
Voter turnout in yesterday's election was put at nearly 70 percent of some
37 million eligible voters. The Central Election Commission said that
despite allegations by the candidates, there did not appear to be any
electoral violations which would affect the final result. Kuchma had
campaigned on continuing with his program of market reforms and bringing
Ukraine closer to the European Union. His chief rivals said his course has
brought only economic decline and they advocate a return to Soviet-style
economic controls and closer ties to Russia.