Ukraine Election Moves to Runoff Without Incumbent

BY Larisa Epatko  January 18, 2010 at 6:00 PM EDT

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko, who gained power during the Orange Revolution in 2004, is out of the running in a run-off election now scheduled for Feb. 7.

Opposition candidate Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko will compete for the nation’s top seat after receiving the most votes in Sunday’s first round.

“It’s been tough here. The economy is in shambles. … Since the Orange Revolution, there’s been a lot of political infighting and that made people, it dampened the excitement,” said NPR’s David Greene, reporting from Kiev.

Damon Wilson of the Atlantic Council called the election a “very significant transfer of power” with Yushchenko stepping aside and handing over the reins to a successor.

Watch online correspondent Hari Sreenivasan’s interview with both: