Ukraine’s opposition to name Yanukovich for president

KIEV. October 23. KAZINFORM. Ukraine's major opposition Party of Regions will convene a congress on Friday to nominate its leader Viktor Yanukovich, 59, for president at the January 17 election; Kazinform refers to Itar-Tass.

It will be the second attempt for Yanukovich to win the top post in the country. Five years ago he lost to Viktor Yushchenko following mass protests in Kiev that were dubbed as Orange Revolution and resulted in unprecedented third round of election.

Today Yanukovich leads in popularity with close to 30 percent, while his main opponent Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko is some ten percent behind. Yushchenko's rating is as low as three percent.

The registration of candidates will begin on Friday. The first four contenders who already submitted documents are lawyer Oleg Ryabokon, former Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko, former parliament speaker Arseny Yatsenyuk, and Communist leader Petr Simonenko.

All the candidates have to remit an election pledge worth 300 thousand US dollars. The pledge will be paid back only to those who will qualify for the second round or win the election in the first round. The election commission has five days to decide on the registration since the submission of documents; Kazinform cites Itar-Tass. See for full version.

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