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Yushchenko registers candidacy in Ukraine presidential election

RIA Novosti


KIEV, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's Central Election Commission on Thursday registered incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko as a candidate for presidential elections scheduled for early next year in the ex-Soviet republic.

Yushchenko did not attend the commission's meeting on Thursday although he came to the republic's central electoral body on October 27 to personally submit his documents for registration as a candidate for the presidential elections scheduled to be held on January 17, 2009.

Ukraine's Central Election Commission on Wednesday also registered the leader of the opposition Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, as a candidate for the presidential elections.

The incumbent Ukrainian leader is unlikely to win the presidential election, the first since the 2004 "orange revolution" that swept him to power, as polls put his support in the low single digits.

Opinion polls point to Yanukovych, the president's opponent in the 2004 race, as the leading contender, along with former Yushchenko ally and now political rival Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. But pollsters say none of the candidates is likely to garner the 50% plus one vote required to avoid a runoff.

Nine people have so far formally registered as contenders, including Supreme Rada Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, ex-defense minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and Communist leader Petro Symonenko.

The registration deadline is November 9.