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Ukrainian Opposition Backing Matches Ruling Party’s, Poll Shows

Support for jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s opposition party has drawn level with that of President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling party two months before parliamentary elections, an opinion poll showed.

Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna, or Fatherland, party has 19.6 percent backing, compared with 19 percent for Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, the Razumkov Center for Economic and Political Studies, based in the capital, Kiev, said today in an e-mailed statement. The poll of 10,979 people has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

Tymoshenko says her seven-year sentence for abuse of office was engineered by Yanukovych to keep her from participating in the Oct. 28 elections. Other opposition leaders including former Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and former Parliamentary Speaker Arseniy Yarsenyuk have joined forces with her party before the vote.

The party of boxer Vitali Klitschko was backed by 9.5 percent of those polled, while the Communist Party had 7.5 percent support. The survey was conducted between July 27 and Aug. 9 by the Razumkov Center, the Rating sociology group, the Center for Social and Marketing Research Sotsis and GfK Ukraine.

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