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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tkachenko Enters Race

KIEV -- Ukraine's presidential race heated up over the weekend when hard-line parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Tkachenko announced his candidacy in the most serious challenge yet to incumbent President Leonid Kuchma.

Tkachenko is believed to be capable of uniting the fractured leftist vote in the Oct. 31 presidential ballot, something Kuchma and his allies had hoped to avoid.

The 60-year-old former Communist, who in Soviet times held a variety of party posts linked to agriculture, made the announcement after his Agrarian Party formally nominated him Saturday.