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Ukraine tense as people wait for election result

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Ukraine tense as people wait for election result


Opposition liberals may have started victory celebrations in Ukraine’s capital, but official election results show it is still undecided who the winner is. Supporters of pro-Western presidential candidate Viktor Yuschenko took to the streets in their thousands after exit polls suggested he was the likely winner over his pro-Russian rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.

However, the latest official results, with 70 percent of the vote counted, show the Prime Minister has a lead of one percentage point over his liberal challenger. Yuschenko, who claims he was cheated out of outright victory in a first presidential round on October 31, has accused officials of falsifying the results. He has called on his supporters to gather in the capital for peaceful demonstrations this morning. Yanukovich’s team earlier said they dismissed the exit poll results, saying they trusted only the figures issued by election authorities. Last night observers said it was too hard to make a call. Early tallies tend to include results from the Russian-speaking and industrial eastern Ukraine, where the Prime Minister has a lot of support. Election officials say that unlike the first round when Ukraine had to wait 10 days for the outcome, a preliminary result could be known within hours.
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