KIEV, December 22 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of Ukraine’s opposition pro-Russian Party of Regions has pledged to prevent electoral fraud at the January presidential polls in the ex-Soviet state.
“We will properly respond to all provocations and attempts to fake election results,” Viktor Yanukovych, who is a presidential candidate, was quoted as saying by his party’s press service.
Ukraine will hold a presidential election on January 17, 2010. The country’s Central Election Commission registered 18 presidential candidates, including President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych and parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn.
A runoff is likely in February as none of the presidential candidates is believed to gain 50% plus one vote in the first round.
Polls indicate that Yanukovych would gain about 34% of the vote, Tymoshenko close to 19% and Yushchenko 5.5%.
Earlier Tymoshenko said Yanukovych could get involved in electoral fraud, adding that Yushchenko could assist the opposition leader and his team in that.
Yushchenko said Sunday he was convinced he would win the presidential election despite his low rating. "I will be the president. Any other path we are offered - be it Yanukovych or Tymoshenko - is a road to nowhere," the Unian news agency quoted him as saying.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.