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Hundreds Protest 'Stolen' Ukrainian Election

KIEV — Hundreds of people rallied in central Kiev on Monday to protest what the Ukrainian opposition says was vote-rigging by President Viktor Yanukovych's ruling party in the Oct. 28 parliamentary election.

Crowds gathered outside the Central Electoral Commission headquarters in the Ukrainian capital in response to a call for protest by opposition parties, including that of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Police told the crowd by loud-speaker that the protest was illegal and might be broken up by force if people did not disperse, a threat ignored by the demonstrators.

"The Party of the Regions is simply stealing the votes of Ukrainians and registering them as the votes of the candidates of the party in power," said Arseny Yatsenyuk, who heads the united opposition in the absence of Tymoshenko.

Anger erupted at several of nine disputed districts. Riot police used tear gas to quell trouble in one district.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, whom U.S. officials convicted of corruption in his homeland, was released from a U.S. prison and turned over to immigration authorities, the U.S. said Friday.

Lazarenko will appear before an immigration judge to determine whether he can remain in the U.S., an immigration spokeswoman said. He had fled to the United States and applied for political asylum in 1999 but was tried on corruption charges.

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