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New poll looks likely in Ukraine

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New poll looks likely in Ukraine


The signs are that Ukraine is heading towards some sort of re-run after last month’s disputed presidential poll. But until that is confirmed, the supporters of opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko are going nowhere. Their show of strength in Kiev has gone on day after day, in freezing temperatures. The crowds say that their man was robbed of the presidency in a rigged election and that wrong must be put right, with a fresh ballot. Key to resolving the crisis is the country’s top court, which has been deliberating since Monday.

It is examining claims of voting irregularities made by both sides. The election saw Moscow-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich declared winner. But on Wednesday parliament passed a vote of no confidence in his government. He has vowed he won’t stand down and was all smiles when he met his pro-Western rival for talks, attended by international mediators.

The meeting failed to end the stand-off that threatens to tear apart the former Soviet republic, although agreement was reached to proceed with key constitutional changes. No more talks are scheduled pending the Supreme Court’s ruling. It is expected to reach a decision today or tomorrow.

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