Election crisis continues in Ukraine

Nov. 26, 2004 at 8:05 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Two members of Ukraine's Central Election Commission have withdrawn their backing of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich's victory.

At the same time, officials in Russian-speaking areas of the country have threatened secession if opposition leader Viktor Yuschenko is declared the winner.

The results of Sunday's election remain in dispute with Yuschenko's supporters, backed by foreign observers, continuing to charge that Yanukovich's apparent win was fraudulent. Moscow News reports that Yuschenko at a rally in Kiev declared himself the winner and demanded a new election.

Yanukovich now has the signatures of nine of the 11 election commissioners on the protocol declaring the election results.

The bitter campaign pitted the country's western areas, where many people want closer ties to Europe and the United States, against the east and Crimea, which look to Russia.

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