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Tigipko and Yatseniuk representing Ukraine in Davos

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Ukraine's two rival candidates for the presidential post attended Davos on Friday, but were up-staged by the two candidates who finished behind them in the first-round vote and whose support may be key to victory in the upcoming run-off.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych spoke live from separate locations in Ukraine. Both said things the audience at the World Economic Forum expected to hear, with Tymoshenko promising to move Ukraine closer to Europe and the more Russia-friendly Yanukovych speaking of the need for a strong, democratic state.

Much of their attention and the attention of those at the Davos event, though, was focused on the two candidates who finished third and fourth in the first tour of elections: wealthy English-speaking bankers Sergiy Tigipko and Arseniy Yatseniuk, who both came in person.

Tigipko, who came in third with 13 percent of the vote to Yanukovych's 35 percent and Tymoshenko's 25 percent, is being actively courted by both sides. Tymoshenko publicly offered him the post of prime minister in case she wins. Tigipko responded he was staying neutral until the end of election, but would consider joining whomever wins.

The 35-year-old Yatsenyuk, who came in fourth with 7 percent of the vote, said he would remain in opposition. "Those two are in the past of the country," he said. "I represent the future."
Written by: Publisher Saturday, 30 January 2010 22:57