A court in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Tuesday banned supporters of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych's supporters to hold rallies at the central square Maidan, the venue of Orange Revolution in 2004, before and after the runoff vote slated for Sunday.

In 2004, massive protests at the square were launched after fraudulent presidential polls helped Tymoshenko and her then ally Viktor Yushchenko to force a rerun of the vote in which Yanukovych had been announced the winner.

The Kiev district court ruled that the Tymoshenko block and the youth wing of Yanukovych's party will not be allowed to hold rallies at Independence Square from February 1 to March 1. Other streets and squares are available.

Experts say that several days before the runoff vote, the winner is impossible to predict. The rivals have accused each other of seeking to rig the vote and promised massive protests after the election if either loses.


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