Thousands of demonstrators in Ukraine are continuing their street vigil, in hope of seeing opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko declared the winner of Sunday's hotly-disputed presidential poll. With another tense night behind them, the opposition is widely expected to enter into talks today with the government and opposing forces.
As dawn broke in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, opposition protesters emerged from their snow-covered tents to reiterate their demand that opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko be declared the winner of Sunday's poll.
Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission has yet to announce full, official results. But there is growing concern that announcement could come later today, further inflaming tensions, if the commission upholds its earlier reports of a win by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich.
Outgoing President Leonid Kuchma has called for immediate negotiations involving all sides. Otherwise, he says the political crisis risks splitting Ukraine into two halves -- between the pro-Russia East, which favors Mr. Yanukovich, and the pro-reform West, which widely supports Mr. Yushchenko.
The United States and Europe have urged Ukraine's authorities not to certify any results, until a full investigation into the claims of widespread electoral fraud can be examined.