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Ukraine Presidential Candidates Hire U.S. Strategists

19. January 2010 by Daniel 0 Comments

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych are bringing out their heavy guns as they gear up for the second round of the country’s presidential election.


Both presidential candidates have sought the help of various powerful campaign consultants, lobbyists and public relations firms that advised the 2008 U.S. presidential campaigns.


Tymoshenko, who placed second in Sunday’s first-round of elections, is looking to close the 10-percentage-point gap that separated her from Yanukovych, who placed first. She has sought help from AKPD, a media consulting firm founded by David Axelrod, who headed Barack Obama’s successful campaign in the U.S. Axelrod now serves as Obama’s chief-of-staff.


Yanukovych has gotten his own expert strategic advice from Paul Manafort, a political strategist who helped John McCain’s bid for president.


Prior to Sunday’s vote, current President Viktor Yushchenko received polling and other information from Mark Penn, an advisor to Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for president in 2008.


Experts say that the U.S. consultants are aiming to help Ukraine carry out a successful election, being that the country is relatively new to the Democratic system of government. At the same time, Ukrainian politicians are eager to show off their connections with Washington.


The runoff election between Tymoshenko and Yanukovych will take place Feb. 7.