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Foreign monitors condemn flaws in Ukraine poll

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Foreign monitors condemn flaws in Ukraine poll
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The Ukrainian presidential election has been deemed a failure by international observers. They say there has been state media bias in favour of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, one of the top two candidates. The verdict has been delivered by a joint mission representing the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe and NATO.

Bruce George, a leading monitor, said: “ We have to conclude that this election did not meet a considerable number of OSCE, Council of Europe and other European standards.” The Russian backed Prime Minister, Viktor Yanukovich is neck-and-neck with the liberal pro-Western opposition leader, Viktor Yushchenko. With almost all votes counted neither candidate has the required 50 percent majority, setting up a run-off that is likely to be held in three weeks. Both sides claim voting day electoral violations. But opposition groups calling for transparency have been making their presence felt more on the streets of the capital, Kiev. The United States had warned that it may withdraw aid if voting is marred by irregularities.