Viktor Yanukovych, the apparent victor of Ukraine's presidential election, has called on his rival Yulia Tymoshenko to resign as prime minister.
The Central Election Commission today said that according to preliminary results, Yanukovych had won the February 7 runoff election with nearly 3.5 percent. The commission has yet to certify and formally announce the election results.
Yanukovych, in a statement posted on the website of his Party of Regions, called on Tymoshenko to resign as prime minister to avert "a new crisis" and go into opposition.
Tymoshenko has not conceded defeat and her party has said they will contest the results from some regions, and possibly the overall outcome of the election, in court.
Yanukovych, in his statement today, said that Ukraine needs help from the West and the East in tackling the country's economic crisis.
He also said that relations with Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union will be a priority of his presidency.
compiled from agency reports