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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 March, 2005, 16:10 GMT
Eurovision hosts in political row
Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko with Eurovision winner Ruslana
Politician Viktor Yushchenko was supported by 2004 winner Ruslana
The Eurovision Song Contest entry for Ukraine, the hosts of this year's show, is being rewritten after a political row over the choice of song.

The anthem of the country's "orange revolution" by the group Greenjolly won a national vote after being allowed in as a last-minute wildcard entry.

But it is "too political", Eurovision organisers have ruled.

Greenjolly have until Thursday to submit new lyrics for the song Razom Nas Bagato! (Together We Are Many!)

Organisers will then decide whether the new version is suitable to take part in the event held in the country's capital, Kiev, in May.

The group Greenjolly will represent the country on their home turf
The current song became the theme for mass protests at the end of 2004, leading to Viktor Yushchenko's victory in a re-run of a disputed presidential election.

It includes the lyrics: "No to falsifications... No to lies. Yushchenko - yes! Yushchenko - yes! This is our president - yes, yes!"

But Eurovision executive supervisor Svante Stockselius said: "It was a political song so we cannot allow this since this is a non-political contest.

"It's allowed to compete if they change the lyrics, or at least part of the lyrics, and they agreed to do so.

"They will provide us with the new text on Thursday and next Monday is the deadline for the delivery of the songs that will compete."

'Late' wildcard

The changes they made were "up to them", he said. "They will just give us their new text and then it's up to us to approve it."

If the changes are not approved, they must put forward a different song to be accepted by the deadline of 21 March, he said.

He added that bringing wildcards into the national race was "not a new idea", but had been done "at quite a late stage" on this occasion.

Ukraine won the right to host this year's competition after their singer Ruslana triumphed at the 2004 contest in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ukraine celebrates Eurovision win
16 May 04 |  Entertainment
Country profile: Ukraine
02 Mar 05 |  Country profiles


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