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Yanukovych leads final polls before Jan. 17 Ukrainian election

RIA Novosti

02/01/201017:03

KIEV, January 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's presidential election campaign entered its last two weeks on Saturday with the final opinion polls predicting victory for Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukrainian law prohibits the publication of any opinion polls less than 14 days before an election. Voting is due to take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, January 17. Campaigning finishes on the Friday, with voters given the Saturday to consider their choice in an atmosphere of quiet.

The Central Election Committee has registered 18 candidates, including Yanukovych, incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko, current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and former Rada speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Polls predict that no candidate will secure an outright majority in the first round, with Yanukovych expected to garner around 30% to 20% for Tymoshenko.

Surveys show that the Party of Regions leader will go on to beat the prime minister in a runoff due at the start of February.

Yushchenko is expected to receive less than 5% of the first-round vote.