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Ukraine prepares for presidential run-off

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Ukraine prepares for presidential run-off


The gloves are off as the two candidates for the Ukrainian presidency prepare to slug it out in a run-off vote.

The campaign has been notable for the hostility between opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is accusing her opponent of attempting to rig Sunday’s vote.

Yanukovich’s Regions Party has pushed changes to electoral rules through parliament and the President Viktor Yushchenko has signed them into law.

Political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko believes the stage is set for post-election wrangling.

“I can say for sure that there will be a stand-off after the second round,” he said. “A stand-off in courts, stand-off on the streets and in the parliament and of course in the media. Will there be another revolution? I think there will not be a revolution like the revolution in 2004, and I am talking about numbers, sincerity and enthusiasm of the people.”

With the country of 46 million people equally divided, the result of Sunday’s vote is impossible to predict. But Tymoshenko has vowed to call people onto the streets in another “Orange revolution” in the event of any perceived vote rigging as a result of the last minute electoral rule changes.

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