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Kiev set to stage rival protests

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected on the streets of Kiev in Ukraine for rival rallies amid an escalating political crisis.

The pro-Western President, Viktor Yushchenko, has threatened to call a snap election. He is caught in a growing power struggle with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who is more pro-Russian. Yushchenko's supporters will take to the streets again, just as they did two years ago during the Orange Revolution. Then, mass protests brought him to office. Now, President Yushchenko's supporters want him to call a new election and dissolve parliament, which is currently controlled by the arch-enemy of the Orange Revolution, Yanukovych. The rally has been organized by the opposition. It claims the pro-Russian ruling coalition is illegally trying to seize power. Recently a number of MP’s who support the president have defected, with more expected to follow suit. But the ruling coalition wants the president to back down from his threat to call an early election, and it is also holding a protest in Kiev on Saturday. This will take place near the opposition rally and at around the same time. Tensions are running high, and with thousands of protesters expected, there is concern that there may be violent clashes. (BBC NEWS)