Ukraine Polls Prove Orange Revolution Failure, Ukrainian Analyst Says

KIEV, Ukraine -- The first round of Ukraine's presidential election proved the 2004 Orange Revolution a total failure, a leading Ukrainian political analyst said Tuesday.

A couple walk through a high end shopping street in down town Kiev, Ukraine.

Results of Sunday's vote conformed to pre-election opinion polls and most analysts' expectations, Vladimir Kornilov, head of the Ukrainian branch of the Institute of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), told Xinhua.

In Ukraine's first vote since the Orange Revolution, opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich scored 35.32 percent, while his main challenger, Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko garnered 25.05 percent. They will face each other in a close run-off on Feb. 7.

Third place went to former economic minister Sergei Tigipko with 13.06 percent, whose supporters are now crucial to the results of the second round, and incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko, one of the architects of the Orange Revolution, only got a miserable 5.45 percent of the vote.

The outcome suggested Yushchenko's domestic and foreign policies were a failure, Kornilov said.

Yushchenko was swept to power in the Orange Revolution, which raised hopes for a new era for the ex-Soviet republic of 46 million people. Yanukovich, a Kremlin-backed candidate back in the 2004 presidential race, was denied victory after alleged electoral frauds.

In fact, the Orange Revolution itself has faded long before Sunday's presidential election, Kornilov said.

Ukrainians have been frustrated at the country's political in-fighting and ailing economy during Yushchenko's tenure, a fact that has been demonstrated by the two parliamentary elections held after the Orange Revolution, he said.

Whoever wins the presidency will change Ukraine's domestic and foreign policies, he added.

Kornilov said "Ukraine is set to restore multilateral foreign policies and improve relations (with) Russia."

Yanukovich, leader of the Regions Party, who draws the bulk of his support from the Russian-speaking areas of the industrial east and the south, has promised Ukrainians economic revival, new jobs, pay raises, judicial reforms and tax-free policies for small enterprises for five years.

Tymoshenko, an ally of Yushchenko in the Orange Revolution, and whose powerbase is in the west, gave priority to a fair society and government efficiency, and pledged an innovation-driven economic structural reform and improvement in people's welfare.

Source: Xinhua

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