18:32 GMT, Sunday, 7 February 2010
Yanukovych 'wins Ukraine's poll'
(Darnit, Yulia Tymoshenko is such a MILF)
Exit polls from Ukraine's presidential election indicate opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych has narrowly won. Mr Yanukovych is given a lead of 3-6% over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. President Viktor Yushchenko lost in the first round.
If correct, it would be a remarkable comeback for Mr Yanukovych, who was swept aside five years ago by the Orange Revolution. He would be expected to make Ukraine's foreign policy more pro-Russian. The BBC's Richard Galpin in Kiev says the result would be an extraordinary indictment of the Orange Revolution leaders' failure to deliver on their promises, which has left people deeply disillusioned.
Mr Yanukovych was a presidential candidate in the last election in 2004, which was found to have been rigged in his favour, sparking the Orange Revolution. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko casting her ballot. He is now expected to change Ukraine's foreign policy - which has been pro-Western and anti-Moscow.
Mr Yanukovych had secured 48.7% of the vote, against Mrs Tymoshenko's 45.5%, according to the National Exit Poll. Another exit poll, by ICTV, said he took 49.8%, against 45.2% for his rival. The election commission is not due to release preliminary results until Monday morning, but our correspondent says exit polls there are generally accurate.
Mr Yanukovych won last month's first round of voting, finishing 10% ahead of Mrs Tymoshenko. She earlier threatened to take her supporters to the streets if she was defeated, saying the protests could be larger than those of the Orange Revolution. Sunday's vote came after a bitter mud-slinging campaign where real policy issues and debate appeared to have been forgotten, says our correspondent.
On Saturday, Mrs Tymoshenko's political bloc accused Mr Yanukovych's Party of Regions of blocking her supporters from overseeing the vote in the eastern Donetsk region - the opposition's stronghold. Mr Yanukovych's camp hit back with allegations that some supporters of the prime minister had been tampering with ballots in an attempt to get votes from eastern Ukraine disqualified.
(Mods, plz leave this thread in NT for @ least today, as the Political Subforum mainly attracts those mostly interested in US politics)