Ukrainians wait for official election results
(Moscow Times and Kyiv Post)
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych looked set to clinch the presidency Sunday, with early exit polls giving him a narrow lead, although his longtime rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, promised to challenge results from the front-runner’s strongholds.
Yulia Tymoshenko, the prime minister of Ukraine, was under pressure to concede defeat on Monday night in the hard-fought presidential election after Viktor Yanukovich, the opposition leader, appeared to have sealed a narrow victory.
Yanukovych was leading with 48.7 percent of the vote, compared with 45.5 percent for Tymoshenko, according to the National Exit Poll, which surveyed more than 15,000 voters. The poll, released when voting closed at 8 p.m. local time, had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.
Other polls showed Yanukovych with a similarly narrow lead.
The new president, elected to a five-year term, faces the difficult task of improving relations with both Russia and the European Union while trying to rebuild a shattered economy. The winner could also have trouble forming a government that will be able to break the country’s political deadlock.