Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko drove up tension on Jan. 13 ahead of a weekend election for president, accusing her main rival of preparing to carry out "monstrous" poll fraud to win power. Her broadside against former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich, seen as her main challenger, raised the temperature further around the Jan. 17 presidential poll, the first since the mass unrest of 2004 sparked by a rigged election. Tymoshenko was herself the subject on Jan. 12 of a vehement attack by President Viktor Yushchenko, her erstwhile ally in the 2004 "Orange Revolution" which propelled them both to power. "A conscious disruption of the election process is going on," Tymoshenko told a government meeting, saying that Yanukovich's party was organizing mass fraud in the east of the country, his main power base. "Such monstrous falsification didn't even happen in 2004," she said. (Reuters)

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