The Ukrainian capital Kiev has been voting for a new mayor, in a microcosm of Ukraine’s political strains, and with possible clues to the next presidential election. The vote was called after current mayor Leonid Chernovetsky was accused of corruption by Prime Minister Iulia Timoshenko, but he still remained the favourite.
Her ally, Alexander Turchinov, enjoys her support, but seemed to have failed to make much headway in the polls. The former world boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko promised strong and honest government if he won, and ran a strong second in the campaign.
The mayoral vote should reveal Ukraine’s political trends as it looks ahead to the next presidential race in 2010. President Viktor Yushchenko swept to power on the back of his Orange Revolution, but subsequent disagreements with his allies have disillusioned many Ukrainian voters.