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Ukraine's Yanukovich says ready to form govt

Written by: Staff

KIEV, Mar 26 (Reuters) The Regions Party, which topped an exit poll in Ukraine's parliamentary election today, is ready to form a government and is inviting other parties to join a coalition, its leader Viktor Yanukovich said.

''The Regions Party has scored a decisive victory,'' he told reporters at his headquarters after two exit polls showed the party likely to receive from 27.5 to 33.3 percent of the vote.

''We are ready to take the responsibility of forming a government and we call on everybody who holds Ukraine's fate dear to join us. We are ready to work with all political parties which will be represented in parliament.'' Yanukovich, sympathetic to Russia, was defeated by President Viktor Yushchenko in a 2004 presidential election after mass ''Orange Revolution'' protests led to a Supreme Court ruling overturning his initial victory in the race.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, whose bloc made an unexpectedly strong showing in today's poll, said an agreement was all but complete to form a governing coalition of liberals -- her party, socialists and Yushchenko's party.

Reuters PDS VP0435

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