Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych is leading with over 30% of the vote in the first round of Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday, exit polls said.
According to the National Exit Poll-2010, he is gaining 31.5% and is followed by Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko with 27.2% and Serhiy Tyhypko who has 13.5%. Statistical margin of error is 0.5%.
Another exit poll by SOCIS company for Inter TV said Yanukovych is gaining 36.6%, Tymoshenko 25% and banker Tyhypko 13.5%.
The ICTV channel's exit poll gave Yanukovych who leads the Party of Regions slightly over 35%, Tymoshenko 25.7%, and Tyhypko close to 13.5%.
Matias Ersi, the head of the Council of Europe delegation at the election, said the election was transparent and in line with international standards.
The Ukrainian president is elected for five years. The election comes off if 50% of voters have cast their ballots, and according to the Central Election Commission, the turnout today was 65.68%.
In order to win the election in the first round, a candidate should gain 50% plus one vote. As none of the candidates is gaining the necessary amount, a runoff is likely to be held February 7.
KIEV, January 17