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Ukrainians vote for a new direction in tense election

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Ukrainians vote for a new direction in tense election


In Ukraine voting is underway in a tense second round of presidential elections After voting early Viktor Yanukovich, who is backed by both Russia and current president Leonid Kutchma appealed for calm:

“I hope that sensitivity and tolerance of the Ukrainians will win over in this election,” he said. The result will decide whether Ukraine turns to its former Soviet ruler Russia or whether it turns west towards Europe – and its being closely watched. Pro western candidate Viktor Yuschenko has threatened to rally his supporters onto the streets if it appears he’s denied victory through vote rigging. But echoing his rival Yuschenko said he trusted that Ukraine would pass what he called the democratic test.” The capital Kiev is on high alert, with both soldiers and extra police patrolling the streets. When he voted in Kiev President Kutcma echoed both candidates emphasising Ukraine’s need for a free and fair election. But he’s also hinted that Yuschenko is threatening to take power by force. Outside Ukraine Russia, the EU and the United States are watching every move of both sides – in the first round the results gave the candidates 39 percent each. Asked how the results would come in Leonid Kutchma said: “It depends on how quickly all the district and regional officials will deliver their documents to the centre, but I think that this time round it will be quicker.”
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