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Ukraine's Presidential Vote Count Nears Completion


The new head of Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC), Yaroslav Davydovych, says certification of official results for the recent presidential run-off election in Ukraine is in its final stage.

CEC chief Davydovych says only formalities now separate opposition candidate Viktor from officially securing his apparent win as Ukraine's next president.

In an interview with Ukraine's independent television, Mr. Davydovych said the commission is now processing the hand-written vote counts submitted by district electoral commissions. He says these are the last votes to be counted.

The election chief says he expects the final results will be nearly identical to the first, preliminary results, which gave Mr. Yushchenko an 11-point lead over his rival, Viktor Yanukovych.

Mr. Davydovych also says there are no facts to suggest, what he called, serious irregularities, as there were in the earlier run-off.

Yanukovych representative Nestor Shufrych, addressing reporters in Kiev, has reiterated the rival candidates intention to appeal the results before the nations Supreme Court, if the CEC results officially confirm his opponent the winner.

Mr. Shufrych says if the Supreme Court justices are guided by law, in his words, rather than revolutionary tendencies, it is his view Mr. Yanukovych will be declared the winner, as he was briefly following the first run-off election.

That win was later invalidated by the Supreme Court due to massive voter manipulation and fraud, a finding echoed by international election observers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Yushchenko and his family continue to entertain Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and his wife at a mountain retreat in western Ukraine during the holiday between New Years Eve and Orthodox Christmas on January 7.

Mr. Yushchenko has said he is also working on the formation of his new government in a show of confidence he eventually will be confirmed as Ukraine's next president.

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