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Ukraine: Preliminary Results Give Win To Kuchma

Kyiv, 15 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - Preliminary results today indicate Ukraine's incumbent president Leonid Kuchma has won re-election in yesterday's runoff vote. The Central Electoral Commission announced that with 98 percent of the vote counted, Kuchma had 56 percent while challenger Petro Symonenko, Communist Party leader, had less than 38 percent. Voter turnout was put at 74 percent. Symonenko today denounced the election campaign as unfair, saying that state media had stoked anti-Communist fears and exerted what he called "psychological impact" on voters. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have also reported that the campaign was unfair -- particularly due to what they called biased coverage on the part of state media.