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    RUSSIA'S `PUBLIC OPINION` FUND TO CONDUCT EXIT POLLS AT UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

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    KIEV, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - Sociologists from Russia's `Public Opinion` Fund (FOM) are going to conduct exit polls at the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine. They plan to interview as many as 40,000 voters at 400 polling stations across the country.

    "By conducting these polls we are going to contribute to ensuring proper standards of the Ukrainian election," FOM head Alexander Oslon told a press conference in Kiev.

    He reminded the audience that the Fund had successfully conducted similar polls in Ukraine before.

    Responding to one of the journalists' questions, Mr. Oslon stressed: "It is a gross political mistake when you say that exit polls can herald the name of the new Ukrainian President. It is the Central Election Commission that will announce the name of the new President."

    Apart from FOM, exit polls will also be conducted by a consortium comprising a number of other public opinion organizations.

    Commenting on a journalist's assumption that the results of the parallel exit polls may differ, Alexander Oslon said that such a discrepancy, if only it occurs, would be thoroughly analyzed by the parties involved. It may reflect methodological differences.

    "Any bias on our part is absolutely out of the question. We are going to work in this area for many years ahead, and this election is not a life-or-death affair for us. We set a great store by our reputation," Mr. Oslon said.

    In compliance with the Ukrainian law, the results of the exit polls can be published only after the election.

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