Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has urged supporters to turn out and vote in the re-run of Ukraine’s rigged presidential election on Sunday. Yushchenko, who will once again confront prime minister Viktor Yanukovich in the runoff, told tens of thousands in Kiev’s Independence Square that his victory was not a foregone conclusion: “This vote will be no easy stroll. There are still forces prepared to disrupt it. It will be a special day in Ukraine’s history, a test for truth and for honest elections. “
Flanked by family and well-known supporters including Ukraine’s world heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, Yushchenko praised the crowd for changing the country without bloodshed. He thanked them for gathering for 17 days to press for the new ballot, until the Supreme Court overturned Yanukovich’s victory.
The opposition leader has predicted he will score 60 per cent of the vote.While his supporters are talking about an “orange revolution”, Yanukovich has denounced the protests as an “orange coup”.
The man who is still officially the premier- despite being dismissed by parliament after the Supreme Court ruling- says he fears the election could yet descend into bloodshed.
Since November’s vote, parliament has changed election practices that led to multiple voting.
About 12,000 monitors are due to watch over the vote. Some of more than a thousand observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operration in Europe have already travelled to Kiev.