Ukrainian ruling party wins polls
KIEV - Agence France-Presse
A woman watches at monitors, as Oleksandr Turchynov, first deputy of jailed Yulia Tymoshenko-led opposition party Batkivshchyna (Motherland), speaks. EPA PhotoUkraine’s ruling party yesterday claimed victory in weekend elections as early results showed it withstanding the challenge by allies of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko whose jailing last year sparked global concern.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the ruling Regions Party would win the majority of seats in the new parliament after Oct. 28’s vote that the West saw as a huge test for Ukraine’s democracy amid the furore caused by the imprisonment of Tymoshenko.
President Viktor Yanukovych’s Regions Party has 35.03 percent of the vote against 21.98 percent for Tymoshenko’s opposition party, the central election commission said with half the precincts reporting in the proportional system that will determine half the seats in the new parliament. The ruling party was also on course to win at least 114 seats out of the 225 that are being determined by first-past-the-post single mandate constituencies, an early analysis showed.
The Communists were polling strongly in third place with 14.89 percent. Klitschko’s new UDAR (Punch) party was on 12.88 percent, something of a disappointment given some pre-election opinion polls had placed it in second. The ultra-nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party was also due to break the five percent threshold needed to make parliament and was polling 8.34 percent, the partial results released by the election commission said.