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ANOTHER THREE CANDIDATES JOIN PRESIDENTIAL RACE IN UKRAINE. The Central Election Commission on 22 July registered Yuriy Zbitnev, Vasyl Volha, and Leonid Chernovetsky as candidates for the 31 October presidential election, Interfax reported. The number of registered candidates now stands at 15. Zbitnev is a leader of the newly created New Force Party, Volha heads the Public Control Party, and Chernovetsky chairs the Christian Liberal Party. The deadline for submitting candidates' applications is 27 July. AM
OUR UKRAINE DEPUTY CALLS FOR DEPUTY PREMIER'S DISMISSAL. Mykola Martynenko, a deputy from the opposition Our Ukraine bloc in the Verkhovna Rada, said on 22 July that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma should dismiss Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Kluyev, Interfax reported. Martynenko said he believes Kluyev is not able to serve the government and work on Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's election staff. The critical situation in the mining industry, particularly unsafe working conditions require the permanent attention of the government, Martynenko said. "It is clear that Yanukovych will not sack a member of his staff. Such a decision should be made by the president," he added. AM
MOLDOVA STEPS UP PRESSURE ON TIRASPOL OVER SCHOOL CLOSURES... Reintegration Minister Vasilii Sova told an RFE/RL correspondent on 22 July that Moldova "reserves the right" to demand a change in the current five-party negotiating format if Transdniester does not reverse its recent decision to close down schools teaching Moldovan (Romanian) in Latin script. Sova was speaking after an emergency meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna, which was called on to address the escalating dispute. Sova said that in May there were "contacts" envisaging a change to the format of the talks (which include the OSCE, Russia, and Ukraine as mediators) within a new framework that would include the United States and the European Union among the mediating sides. He added that "this is more or less the format" we would recommend if the situation does not improve. Sova reiterated Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin's threat from the previous day that Moldova might deny Transdniestrian enterprises export certificates and stop customs procedures for exports from the separatist region (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 July 2004). In response to a question, Sova said that if Ukraine and Russia did not cooperate in isolating Tiraspol economically, "this would betray their true attitude toward Tiraspol's separatism." MS
'TELEVISION KILLER' STEPS INTO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS. Television personality Sergei Dorenko said at a 21 July press conference in Kyiv that he will participate in the Ukrainian presidential-election campaign. Dorenko said he "will not campaign for or against particular people, but for ideas." He added, though, that his lawyers are studying whether it is legal for him, a Russian citizen, to campaign for a particular candidate. He also said that recent talks he held with NTN television in Donetsk had fallen through. "I did have some relations with the so-called Donetsk bloc, but they didn't work out," Dorenko said, according to Interfax-Ukraine. "So I will not be appearing on Donetsk television." Some analysts believe that Dorenko's real goal in the campaign would be to work against the interests of Our Ukraine candidate Viktor Yushchenko. Dorenko gained notoriety during the Russian legislative elections in the fall of 1999, when he was a leading anchor on ORT television, which was controlled by then-oligarch Boris Berezovskii at that time. Dorenko conducted a relentless campaign against the Fatherland-All Russia bloc headed by Moscow Mayor Yurii Luzhkov and former Prime Minister Primakov. For his work, he was dubbed "the television killer" and "Berezovskii's bull terrier." VY