This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
leaders have been congratulating Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine's next president.
Among Western leaders, President Obama phoned on Thursday
to welcome the opposition leader. The White House said he called the election a
peaceful expression of the political will of Ukrainian voters to strengthen
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Official results are expected by
Wednesday. A final vote count showed that Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko lost
by forty-five and a half percent to forty-nine percent last Sunday. But she
refused to accept defeat and resisted calls to resign as prime minister. Her aides
have said she planned to challenge the election results in court, and not
concede defeat until appeals are completed.
She has accused Yanukovych supporters of cheating in
Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
On Thursday she told the cabinet that Viktor Yanukovych had already broken
campaign promises to improve living conditions for Ukrainians. She criticized
his party for missing a chance to vote in parliament to increase social
Party of Regions has been negotiating to form a new coalition in parliament. A
long political battle could worsen the economic troubles of the former Soviet
republic. Last year the International Monetary Fund suspended sixteen billion
dollars in lending to Ukraine over the issue of financial restraint.
Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Friday that the elections were "free,
fair and democratic." That was a change from past elections in
Ukraine. A public opinion survey by the Horshenin Institute found that more
than sixty-eight percent of Ukrainians trusted the results.
Outgoing President Viktor
Yushchenko is pro-Western. He did not receive enough votes in the first round
of elections last month to qualify for the run-off election last Sunday.
years ago, Viktor Yanukovych won the presidency, then lost it. Official results
showed him the winner over Viktor Yushchenko. But reports of election fraud led
to huge protests known as the Orange Revolution. A new election took place and
Viktor Yushchenko won.
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took office in January of two thousand five with Yulia
as his prime minister. But their partnership ended in disputes over
Yulia Tymoshenko helped lead the Orange
Revolution, named for the color worn by protesters. The protests brought
Western-like democracy to Ukraine for the first time.
people say the results of Sunday's election suggest that Ukrainians have
rejected the Orange Revolution. But others point to the reported fairness of
the election itself as evidence that the spirit of the revolution lives on.
Yanukovych supports closer relations between Ukraine and Russia. Russia
welcomed his election. But political observers noted that it was very different
from the election of Dmitri Medvedev as Russia's president two years ago. In
that election there was never any question who the winner would be.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written
by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.