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Ukraine polls free of 'mass irregularities' - EU monitors

RIA Novosti


KIEV, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - There have been no reports of extensive breaches of voting procedure at Ukraine's presidential polls runoff, the chief of the EU monitoring mission said on Monday.

"It doesn't look like there were any mass irregularities," Pavel Koval said.

He said the mission was still collecting reports from local monitors and would deliver its report later today.

Yanukovych, a 59-year-old former premier who was defeated by outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko in the 2004 polls after initial election results were annulled over fraud, earlier claimed victory over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Sunday's runoff. Yanukovych was 13% ahead at one point.

But with the gap steadily decreasing, Yanukovych is currently less than 3% ahead of his bitter rival, after over 93% of the ballots have been counted.

Tymoshenko has refused to concede, saying the result is too close to call. The premier has also said she will urge her supporters to demonstrate if she feels the election has been rigged in favor of Yanukovych.