KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's main opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich, who lost the country's 2004 "Orange Revolution" election, said on Thursday he would win the next presidential contest in January.

Yanukovich, the Moscow-backed candidate in the 2004 election, has about 25 percent support in opinion polls over his main competitor, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with about 15 percent.

"We have faith in the wisdom of the Ukrainian nation and we will win. The question is only whether in the first round or the second," Yanukovich told news conference.

President Viktor Yushchenko, who beat Yanukovich in a re-run vote in the aftermath of the 2004 mass protests, is far behind.

"We think we will have a very good result in the first round -- we could well win it," Yanukovich said.

Yushchenko has virtually no chance of re-election in the January 17 contest, with support of 3-4 percent. His determination to push Ukraine towards NATO membership has been been a major source of irritation for Russia.


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