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Party of Regions leading in Ukraine parliamentary elections

October 29, 2012, 14:46 UTC+3

Five parties will be represented in Ukraine’s seventh Verkhovna Rada

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KIEV, October 29 (Itar-Tass) — Five parties will be represented in Ukraine’s seventh Verkhovna Rada (parliament) the elections of members of which took place on Sunday, according to a recent vote count made public by the country’s Central Election Commission (CEC).

According to data from the calculation of 40 percent of the ballots, the ruling Party of regions got 35.61 votes in its favour, the Batkivshchina United Opposition is behind with 21.55 percent of the votes, the Communist Party has 15.10 percent, the UDAR (Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform, meaning “Punch”) of heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko gets 12.83 percent, and the right-wing nationalist party Svoboda (Freedom) has 8.05 percent.

According to preliminary results of five exit polls published on Sunday immediately after the polls closed (at 22:00 MSK), these political forces have managed to overcome the 5-percent barrier. And 16 political parties that took part in the elections have failed to clear it. Among them - the Ukraine-Forward! Party of Natalya Koroleva and Our Ukraine of former President Viktor Yushchenko, gaining 1.8 and 1.3 percent, respectively.

The current elections to the Rada were held by a mixed system: 225 deputies were elected by party lists and the same number - by the majority system in single-member constituencies. There were party nominees among the candidates running in single-mandate constituencies, so the number of members of Rada factions will be known only after the official election results, including in the single-seat constituencies are summarised.

Candidates to parliament from the Party of Regions are the lead in 114 of 225 single-member constituencies. According to the CEC, the Party of Regions was in the lead in 13 regions of the country, as 5 percent of the ballots were counted. Representatives of Batkivshchina who are wining in 28 constituencies are second, the candidates of Freedom are wining in six constituencies and UDAR - in four. In two single-member constituencies the representatives of the People’s Party and the United Centre Party are in the lead. Candidates from the associations Union, Ukraine - Forward! and the Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko – have one victory each in constituencies.

The competition for parliamentary seats in the seventh parliament of Ukraine was extremely tough: a total of 5,208 candidates were running for parliament, of whom 2,554 – by party lists and 2,654 – in single-mandate constituencies. And in some constituencies up to 40 people were struggling for the seat.

The CEC of Ukraine believes that the elections to the Verkhovna Rada have passed normally. CEC secretary Tatyana Lukash said that “there have been no violations that could affect the election results.” According to her, the voting process took place “in an organised and open” manner.

The Ukrainian parliamentary elections used a mixed voting system (50 percent under party lists and 50 percent under simple-majority constituencies) with a 5 percent election threshold and the participation of blocs of political parties was not allowed anymore. The election campaign was limited to 90 days. Every citizen of Ukraine who is 18 years old or older was able to vote in 33,540 polling stations in Ukraine and 114 foreign polling stations in 77 countries. The new parliament will get down to work on 15 December 2012 (six weeks after the elections).

Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia Vladimir Churov, who observed the elections in western Ukraine, was generally satisfied with the organisation of voting. “We so far have no complaints,” he said in an interview with Itar-Tass. At the same time, he pointed to two features of the elections to the Verkhovna Rada. “The main feature of this election in Ukraine is the use of webcasts at polling stations according to experience,” Churov said. “Two webcams are installed at each polling station, in accordance with our methods.” Another feature that, according to the Russian CEC head, was a surprise to him is the exit polls methods. “Throughout the route (Churov visited three regions of Ukraine) such polls were conducted only at two polling stations – by two different organisations,” he said. According to Churov, this gives reason to question the representativeness of the polls in rural areas of Western Ukraine.

The Central Election Commission of Ukraine will announce the official final results of the parliamentary elections within 15 days.


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