Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has pledged a fair and open presidential election in January 2010, Kyiv Post reported.

"I, the president, promise to make the election campaign and the ballot, free, fair and lawful," he said in the Independence Day address to the nation in Kyiv on Monday.

"Attempts at political conspiracies will fail," the president said.

"This election will not only set the course for domestic political life but also help us make a big choice between going back or moving forward," he said.

"Our safe and prosperous future will be on the scale. The other alternative is clans, which again try to divide the country," he said.

"I choose a strong nation, with strength and dignity, which will set down not only the local feudalists but also the outside lords who want to tell us what to do," Yushchenko said.

The Verkhovna Rada scheduled the presidential election for January 17, 2010.


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