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Orange split raises stakes in Ukraine vote

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Orange split raises stakes in Ukraine vote

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Voters in Ukraine have had a final day to reflect on an election which could see a return to government for the pro-Moscow party ousted in the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution’, which brought President Viktor Yushchenko to power. His ‘Our Ukraine’ movement is, according to polls, trailing in second place to the Regions Party of former president Viktor Yanukovich. That outcome could see Yanukovich serving as prime minister under Yushchenko.

The pro-western liberal camp has been hit by a damaging split, with former Yuschchenko ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, also standing. Her party is predicted to come third in the ballot. Yanukovich, who is backed by the Russian-speaking community in the east of the country, has been boosted by dissatisfaction with the government over the economy. Corruption scandals and in-fighting within the administration has also helped his cause.