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Widespread Vote Fraud Is Alleged In Ukraine

A number of Ukrainian city councils protested the results. The Kiev city council said that parliament should not accept the election result, but the city councils in Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk went further, saying they would recognize Yushchenko as the legally elected president.

Parliament was expected to debate the election results Tuesday, and the Yushchenko campaign was considering filing suits with the country's Supreme Court, which has demonstrated its independence from the government in a number of rulings during the campaign. A senior foreign diplomat said Monday that Yushchenko had been consulting with embassy personnel stationed in Kiev to consider his strategy.


Yushchenko supporters pack Independence Square in Kiev after international monitors detailed instances of fraud in Sunday's presidential election. (Gleb Garanich -- Reuters)

Yushchenko supporters insisted they would confront the government. A Yushchenko political ally, Yulia Tymoshenko, advocated a general strike. "Stop working, stop learning, make it all stop," she said.

"Do you know what happened to Milosevic? The same thing here," said Oleksiy Radynski, 20, a student protesting at Independence Square, referring to the popular revolt against the former Yugoslav president. "We will frighten this government and show them they can't steal our votes."

Yanukovych supporters were also adamant. "They lost, those fools and idiots," said Valentin Baranov, 72. "Yanukovych is our president. These protests are not honest."

Observers from a number of countries of the former Soviet Union, including Russia, where the Kremlin has openly backed Yanukovych, said there were some abuses, but they concluded that the abuses were not critical to the outcome.

"The opposition will try to create a second power center involving parliament and the streets," said Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin political consultant and Yanukovych adviser, in an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax. "This is typical revolutionary tactics."

The White House's special envoy to Ukraine, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), called on the outgoing president, Leonid Kuchma, to step in and review the election process.


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