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PACE delegation to monitor Ukrainian presidential elections

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will monitor the upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine and publish results during a PACE winter session in late January, a representative of the organization's apparatus said.

The presidential polls will take place in the ex-Soviet state on January 17.

"A delegation led by Mathias Ershi will arrive in the country on Thursday," the spokesman said, adding delegation members are expected to meet with main presidential candidates, representatives of election commissions and country's non-governmental organizations during their four-day visit to Ukraine.

A report on the polls is expected to be published on January 25.

Eighteen candidates were registered by the country's Central Election Committee to take part in the presidential race, including incumbent Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the opposition Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovych, 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.

Yulia Tymoshenko promised on Thursday to ensure the elections are fair and transparent and pledged to do everything necessary so that the vote is carried out in accordance with European standards.