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Ukraine: Parliament Candidate Shot Dead On Eve Of Elections

Kyiv, 30 March 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Unknown assailants shot dead a Ukrainian candidate for parliament on the eve of elections. A spokesman for the regional administration in western Ukraine, Bogdan Yarysh, said today that Mykola Shkryblyak was hit last night by nine bullets in an ambush in the doorway to his apartment building.

Yarysh called the killing a political murder linked to the elections. National parliamentary elections are scheduled in Ukraine tomorrow.

Shkryblyak had been a contender in a election district in the west Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankivsk. He also headed the local office of Ukraine's Social Democrat Party (SPDU). The SPDU is closely linked with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and generally supports laws favouring business tycoons.

Ukrainian Deputy Prosecutor-General Oleksei Bahanets said police were investigating three possible motives for the attack: an attempt to skew election results, a business dispute, and simple robbery.