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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 08:44 GMT 09:44 UK
In quotes: Ukraine election race
Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko
Yushchenko says he has been disfigured by poisoning

The race to elect Ukraine's third president on 31 October has been dominated by acrimony.

Viktor Yushchenko, the pro-Western main opposition candidate, has accused the government of trying to poison him.

Supporters of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the main government candidate, accuse Mr Yushchenko and his followers of plotting a Serbia-style revolution to install a pro-US regime.


What happened to me was not a question of food or diet. It is a problem of the political regime in this country....

Forty-seven million Ukrainians will not live according to the rules of the criminal underworld, they will live according to the law. Ukraine's future will be decided not by convicts but by 47 million honest voters...

The time has come to withdraw our lads [from Iraq] - calmly, without any rush, but withdraw them nonetheless. I will take up this matter in the first days of my presidency.

Viktor Yushchenko


I would recommend that he [Yushchenko] gets someone to try his food before eating it, to avoid stomach problems.

Deputy presidential administration chief Vasyl Baziv


My advice to Yushchenko and others is to eat tried and tested foodstuffs... As for me, I eat potatoes and pork fat, and they are safe.

Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz


Yushchenko's statement [that the government tried to poison him] isn't run-of-the-mill populism, or bad-taste rhetoric. His actions have brought shame on Ukraine in the eyes of the international community.

Pro-government MP Hennadiy Samofalov


I have been under scrutiny all my life by people who are used to rummaging in human souls and those who are very fond of looking for a mote in somebody else's eye... When this political time came, they started slinging mud at me, destroying my family...

I've never seen myself as a right-wing politician, and I never will be. I regard myself as a Ukrainian patriot, but certainly not as a nationalist...

A head of government ought to have an iron will, and lead rather than be led. Unfortunately, Yushchenko does not possess these qualities.

Viktor Yanukovych


We should not give a single vote to the criminals... Democracy should win in Ukraine.

Socialist MP Yuriy Lutsenko


Find a single positive article about Ukraine [in the foreign media]. Immense pressure is being put on Ukraine, on the Ukrainian leadership. One gets the impression that if an opposition candidate fails to win, the elections will be proclaimed untransparent and dishonest the very next day...

The Ukrainian contingent will stay in Iraq until the situation there stabilises and elections are held.

Incumbent President Leonid Kuchma

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Ukraine probes 'poisoning plot'
21 Sep 04 |  Europe
Candidate 'poisoned' in Ukraine
17 Sep 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Ukraine
21 Apr 04 |  Country profiles


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