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Ukraine’s Batkivshchina party withdraws 26 candidates from election race

October 15, 2012, 23:49 UTC+3

The UDAR party withdrew its candidates in favor of Batkivshchina in 26 majority constituencies on October 14

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KIEV, October 15 (Itar-Tass) — The united opposition Batkivshchina party has withdrawn 26 candidates from election race to Ukraine’s parliament in favor of Vladimir Klichko’s UDAR party (the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms). The decision was passed at the party’s regular congress on Monday.

“We have withdrawn 26 candidates to people’s deputies in favor of the UDAR party. They include incumbent deputies of Verkhovnaya Rada (4 people),” Alexander Turchinov, the head of electoral headquarters of the united opposition Batkivshchina party, told a briefing on Monday.

For his part, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the head of the united opposition council, said that the decision ought to have been passed six months before.

“But even today it raises the opposition’s chances to win. We will have to clarify whether the UDAR candidates are going to support the opposition’s program,” Yatsenyuk said.

The Batkivshchina party is holding its congress behind the closed doors.

The UDAR party withdrew its candidates in favor of Batkivshchina in 26 majority constituencies on October 14.

In the meantime, Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions has the strongest support ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for October 28. Twenty-three percent of Ukrainian voters are ready to cast their ballots for it, experts of the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of Ukraine’s National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences told journalists at a meeting on Monday.

Lyubov Naidyonova, the Institute’s deputy director, said that 19.4% of voters supported the opposition Batkivshchina party; 17.3 percent were ready to vote for the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms(UDAR), a political newcomer headed by world famous boxer Vitaly Klichko; the Communist Party of Ukraine is supported by 11.5 % of the electorate.

The Svoboda (“Freedom”) nationalistic movement led by Oleg Tyagnibok may overcome a five-percent voter threshold. It is supported by 6.8% of the population. The “Ukraine Forward!” party of Natalya Korolevskaya may also overcome the five-percent barrier.

”Our Ukraine” of Viktor Yushchenko, a once powerful political force, is supported by 2.1 percent of voters. The remaining 22 parties included in ballot papers are likely to gain less than one percent of votes.

Voters are most active in Ukraine’s western regions where 83% are planning to turn up at elections. Seventy-six and seventy-one percent will come to polling stations in the central and eastern regions of Ukraine, respectively. The electorate is passive in southern regions where only 66% of voters are planning to cast their ballots.

Sociologists believe that the Party of Regions has the highest ratings in eastern and southern parts of Ukraine. The opposition Batkivshchina party is popular in central and western regions where Klichko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR) is also strong.

A considerable number of voters in western Ukraine are ready to vote for the nationalistic Svoboda party (13.5%) which has the support of 2.2 percent of voters in the east and 0.6 % in the south.

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