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Ukraine Parties Hold Last Day of Rallies Ahead of Sunday Polls


Ukrainian political parties are staging their final rallies ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Streets of the capital Kyiv Friday are filled with orange banners waved by supporters of President Viktor Yushchenko and the blue ones of his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

The latest public opinion polls indicate that the prime minister's Party of Regions will emerge as the largest group in parliament.

Mr. Yushchenko's Our Ukraine is expected to form an alliance with the movement led by former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko as it seeks a majority in the 450-seat Verhovna Rada assembly.

Mr. Yushchenko, who supports Western-style reforms and Prime Minister Yanukovych, who favors closer ties with Russia, have been at odds since competing in a controversial presidential election in 2004.

Mr. Yushchenko named Mr. Yanukovych prime minister in an effort to break a political standoff that gripped Ukraine after parliamentary elections in March, 2006. But the two men remain strong rivals.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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