Campaigning has ended ahead of tomorrow’s run-off in Ukraine’s presidential elections. The liberal challenger Viktor Yushchenko has threatened to urge his supporters to take to the streets if there is any sign of fraud in the results. He has also announced a promise to withdraw Ukraine’s troops in Iraq if he wins.
“We believe our military peacekeeping force has fulfilled its mission,” he said. “Now we need to consider the procedure, timeline and conditions.” Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich is promising state control of key sectors and closer ties with Russia. is previous criminal convictions for robbery and assault as a youth have been highlighted by his challenger, but the Prime Minister maintains the charges went on to be struck from his record. Yanukovich has also attacked Yushchenko’s post-Soviet policies when he was premier from 2000 to 2001, saying they left Ukranians worse off. Yushchenko, who favours gradual integration with Europe, is backed by Ukraine’s outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, and Russia’s President. Western countries have called for vigilance to make sure there are no failings in tomorrow’s polling and vote counting.