Ukraine still has time left to organize and hold the presidential election according to international norms
The US administration believes that the pre-election campaign in Ukraine has several serious flaws, as an official spokesman for the US State Department Richard Boucher put it. The campaign, the official said, does not comply with international standards of democracy. Richard Boucher added, however, that Ukraine still had time left to organize and hold the presidential election according to international norms.
In addition, the Bush's administration urged Russian governmental officials to support the free and honest election in Ukraine. Boucher said that the USA does not have a certain preference as far as Ukrainian presidential candidates are concerned. The American government would like to see Ukrainian electors expressing their will on Sunday, when they go to the polls to vote for the president. "We urge the Ukrainian authorities to end immediately the ongoing violations of democratic norms, to allow Ukrainians to choose freely, and to adhere scrupulously to internationally accepted standards for tabulating and registering results on election day," Boucher said.
Preparations for the presidential election in Ukraine are in full swing. Experts say that only two candidates from 24 have real chances to replace the incumbent head of state, Leonid Kuchma. The two competitors are: Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and the leader of the opposition bloc Our Ukraine, Viktor Yushenko.
Yanukovich's twenty thousand proponents are to come to Kiev today to support him at the election. They will occupy almost the entire square in front of the Central Electoral Committee of Ukraine.
Yushenko's followers, in the meantime, say that they will be able to gather not less than 500,000 people on the Independence Square in Kiev's center. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry will attract 200,000 police officers nationwide to observe law and order in the country on the voting day.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
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