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Yushchenko??s rating up on dismissal decree
Journal Staff Report

KIEV, April 24 ?? President Viktor Yushchenko??s popularity has increased sharply in April, the first such steep increase since early 2005, following his decision to dismiss Parliament, an opinion poll showed Tuesday.

Some 20.4% of respondents said they were ready to vote for Yushchenko in April, compared with 12% in March, after the president had moved April 2 to dissolve the legislature, according to the Kiev International Institute for Sociology.

Yushchenko??s rating has been falling gradually since he had become the president in January 2005, dropping to less than 10% after the collapse of the pro-Western government coalition in September 2005.

But the sharp increase in the rating shows Yushchenko??s supporters have been encouraging the president to hold a tougher line in talks with pro-Russian government coalition led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych??s led the list of the most popular politicians with 34.5% in April, while former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a Yushchenko ally, enjoyed support from 16% of respondents, the KIIS reported.

The ratings of Yanukovych and Tymoshenko were little changed in the period, while Yushchenko??s rating ???has increased notably,??? KIIS said. AT least 2,039 people were polled by KIIS between April 14 and April 19 with margin of error at 2.8%.

Other popular politicians in Ukraine include Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko with 2.7% level of support, followed by former Internal Affairs Minister Yuriy Lutsenko (2.1%), Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz (1.6%), ultra-leftist Progressive Socialist Party leader Natalia Vitrenko (1.5%) and former Parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn (1.5%).

At least 15.1% of respondents said they were not sure on what politician to support, KIIS reported.

The pro-government Regions Party, led by Yanukovych, was the most popular party in Ukraine enjoying support from 35.5% of respondents, followed y Tymoshenko Bloc??s 19.6%, Yushchenko??s Our Ukraine (12.9%) and the Communist Party (4.2%), according to KIIS.

Lutsenko??s People??s Self-defense would get support from 3.7%, followed by Vitrenko??s 1.8%, Lytvyn Bloc??s 1.7%, the Socialist Party??s 1.2% and Ukrayinska Pravytsia, the nationalist right wing group, 1.2%. Some 6.3% of respondents refused to support any party, while 10.3% of respondents were not sure.

At least 43.2% of respondents, mostly from western regions of Ukraine, supported Yushchenko??s April 2 decree dismissing Parliament, while 43.1%, mostly from eastern regions, rejected the decree.

At least 79.5% of respondents said they were ready to go and vote for their political parties in the event of the early election, while 6.6% were not sure and 13.9% had rejected the idea of the early election.

The statistics is consistent with polls by other agencies showing that Regions Party dominates the list. Regions??s rating was 29.1% as of the middle of April, up from 26.3% a month ago, FOM-Ukraine reported. The Tymoshenko Bloc??s rating dropped to 15.5% in April from 19.1% in March.

Support for Our Ukraine increased to 10.3% as of the middle of April, up from 8.8% as of the middle of March, according to FOM-Ukraine, a polling agency. (tl/ez)




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