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Ukrainian presidential race heats up

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Ukrainian presidential race heats up

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Ukrainian Head of State Viktor Yushchenko has joined the race for the presidency in January.

Voter support for reelection of the former leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution is put at only 5 percent. Several thousand people showed their support as Yushchenko presented his candidacy at the electoral commission in Kiev. He said, “In order to prevent us from sinking into the times of 2004, into the national tragedy, the national drama which we have won, today the circumstances can turn into becoming an irrevocable moment. Frankly speaking, I am running for the presidency for all those reasons.” Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has urged Ukrainians to elect her president. She has pledged to make the country part of the European mainstream. Tymoshenko has accused Yushchenko of abandoning the values of the pro-Western “Orange Revolution” street protests that brought them to power in 2005. Another frontrunner is 59-year-old Moscow-backed Viktor Yanukovich. He won a rigged poll in the last presidential election. The Supreme Court subsequently quashed his victory and Yushchenko went on to win a re-run ballot. During his youth, Yanukovich was jailed twice for theft and assault.