Ukraine’s presidential rivals accused each other of corruption and electoral fraud in a live television debate last night, setting the stage for another dramatic showdown in their repeat run-off on December 26.
&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/92/370/14719_Yushchenko.html ' target=_blank>Viktor Yushchenko, the opposition leader, accused Viktor Yanukovych, the Prime Minister, of rigging the results of the November 21 election, which were later annulled amid huge opposition protests.
&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/92/370/14641_ukraine.html ' target=_blank>Viktor Yanukovych said the protests — dubbed the Orange Revolution — amounted to a coup, but appeared to offer an olive branch by appealing for calm and suggesting that the two men run the country together, wrote The Times.
As they traded accusations, Yanukovych tried to be more conciliatory. "Whoever wins, I think, we should hold a forum of national accord," Yanukovych said, urging Yushchenko to pledge not to contest the official results of the Dec. 26 rerun vote.
"If you win, I will recognize (your victory). If I win - you will," Yanukovych said. "And then, you and I are working to form a normal government of national concord."
The debate was the first since the Supreme Court annulled the Nov. 21 presidential run-off following allegations of widespread fraud, says CBC News.
According to the Bloomberg, millions of people throughout the country took to the streets to protest after Ukraine's Central Electoral Committee said Yanukovych beat Yushchenko in a Nov. 21 runoff vote.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko had a telephone conversation with US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan