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Ukraine presidential candidate's office claims election fraud

RIA Novosti


KIEV, January 18 (RIA Novosti) - The deputy head of the parliamentary fraction led by Vladimir Lytvyn, the Ukrainian parliament speaker and a candidate in Sunday's presidential race, said on Monday he considered results of the first round of the election invalid over large-scale fraud, the Ukrainian Unian news agency said.

"Unfortunately, we should state the unprecedented scale of using the administrative resource during the pre-election campaign," Oleg Zarubynsky said, referring to incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who used money from the state budget to fund their campaigns.

"The elections, as such, have not come off," he said.

The country's Central Election Commission said there were no reasons to contest the results of the polls.

Zarubynsky said Lytvyn's staff would support neither Yanukovych nor Tymoshenko in the runoff.

First official results of Sunday's elections gave opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych 38.63% of the vote, Tymoshenko 24.72% and ex-National Bank head Serhiy Tyhypko 11,49%, with some 11% of the ballots counted.

The country's incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko, with 4.53% of the vote, follows ex-parliament speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who has gained 6.44%.

Lytvyn has garnered 2.64% of the ballots counted.

According to the National Exit Poll-2010, Yanukovych is leading with 31.3% of the vote in the first round of the elections.

The exit poll showed Tymoshenko following Yanukovych with 27.1% of the vote and Tyhypko trailing with 13.4%. According to the report, Yushchenko has garnered 5% of the vote.

As none of the candidates is gaining 50% plus one vote needed to win the elections in the first round, a runoff is likely on February 7.