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Opposition in Ukraine Calls for Massive Protests Over Election - 2004-11-22


The opposition in Ukraine is calling for nationwide protests over a presidential election that international observers say failed to meet a number of democratic standards.

Candidate Viktor Yushchenko told tens of thousands of supporters in Kiev's Independence Square Monday demonstrations will continue until he is recognized as the winner of Sunday's run-off election.

With more than 99 percent votes counted, the state election commission said Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych led with more than 49 percent of the ballots, nearly three percentage points ahead of the pro-Western Mr. Yushchenko.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said the balloting failed to meet what it called a "considerable number" of standards for democratic elections.

Mr. Yushchenko's supporters say their calculations show their candidate with a substantial lead over the government-backed prime minister in the hotly contested race.

information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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