Yanukovych leads polls ahead of Ukraine's presidential election

KIEV. October 12. KAZINFORM The leader of the opposition Party of Regions is leading public opinion polls in Ukraine ahead of presidential election scheduled for January 17, 2010, the UNIAN news agency reported on Monday, Kazinform refers to RIA Novosti.

According to a poll conducted by the Ukraine Public Opinion Foundation, 26.8% of voters are ready to cast their votes in favor of Viktor Yanukovych, a former prime minister widely seen as pro-Russian. Incumbent leader Viktor Yushchenko trails with a mere 2.2%.

Yushchenko defeated Yanukovych five years ago in an election re-run, which followed street protests against alleged ballot rigging. The power shift to a pro-Western leadership was known as the Orange Revolution.

Yanukovych's closest rival is Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with 15.6%. Former parliamentary speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk is placed third with 9.3%.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko has 4%, former Ukrainian National Bank chief Sergiy Tygypko 1.6%, and Supreme Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn 1.4%, UNIAN said.

A total of 15.2% of respondents intend to vote against all candidates, 6.7% are unwilling to go to the polls, and 6.7% are undecided.

However, 85.1% of respondents said they will vote, Kazinform cites RIA Novosti. See www.en.rian.ru for full version.

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