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Ukraine Election Officials Say Yushchenko Ahead in First Round of Presidential Vote


Election officials in Ukraine say opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko emerged as the top vote-getter in the first round of the country's presidential election.

Authorities say Mr. Yushchenko received 39.87 percent of the ballots in the October 31 poll, 0.5 percent more than his closest rival Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Because no candidate received the required support of more than 50 percent of the electorate, a second round of balloting is set for November 21.

Members of the opposition have accused authorities of fraud during the first round of balloting. They also accused their opponents of sabotage during the campaign. Monday, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Anatoliy Kinakh, who received less than one percent support in the first round presidential vote, announced his backing for Mr. Yushchenko.

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