Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, herself a candidate for president, promised on Thursday to ensure Ukraine's presidential election are fair and transparent.

At a meeting with Heidi Tagliavini, the chairman of the OSCE election monitoring mission in Ukraine, Tymoshenko said she would do everything necessary so that the January 17 vote is carried out in accordance with European standards.

"We want to prevent fraud. We have turned to the OSCE and other international organizations that can send observers to prevent a recurrence of tampering like that in 2004," Tymoshenko was quoted as saying by the government's press office.

The final opinion polls, which under Ukrainian law are published two weeks before the election, showed Tymoshenko running second to Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych among the 18 candidates.

Yanukovych won a runoff against Viktor Yushchenko in 2004, but the vote was ruled illegitimate and Yushchenko was elected president in the re-run.

Tagliavini stressed the importance of the head of government in ensuring transparent elections, and praised the work of Tymoshenko's government in preparing for the elections.


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