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Party of Regions preserves leadership in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections after 50% of votes have been counted

October 29, 2012, 17:24 UTC+3
These figures are preliminary and only take account of ballots cast on party tickets
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KIEV, October 29 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine’s Party of Regions is preserving leadership after 50% of votes have been counted. The Party of Regions is leading with 35.06 percent of the vote. The united opposition party Batkivshchina is second (21.95%); the Communist Party of Ukraine has 14.92% of votes, the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms —12.87% and the nationalistic Svoboda (Freedom) party has gained 8.31 percent.

These figures are preliminary and only take account of ballots cast on party tickets. Results in one-seat constituencies will also be taken into account when deputy seats are going to be distributed.

The October 28 parliamentary elections in Ukraine were held according to the mixed system: 225 deputies were elected on party tickets suggested by 21 parties; the other 225 deputies were elected in one-seat constituencies.

The Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission has promised to announce more results on Wednesday. The official results are to be counted before November 12.

The current election campaign in Ukraine has been costly and record pricey. Though no one can say how much money each of the candidates spent on PR and self-advertising, experts are putting the figure at 2.5 billion dollars.

Quite predictably, the ruling Party of Regions tops the expense ratings. The Ukrainian Association of Political Advertising reports that the party posted about 6,500 pieces of exterior advertising during the campaign. By comparison, the “Ukraine Forward!” party and Vitaly Klichko’s UDAR posted 2,500 outdoor advertisements each. The united opposition party Batkivshchina and the Communists are lagging behind with 2,000 and 1,500 advertisements, respectively.

“The cost of exterior advertising during the election campaign period stood at 150-200 million hryvnas (18.8-25 million dollars),” Artyom Bidenko, the head of the Ukrainian Association of Political Advertising, said.

Alexander Yefremov, the head of the Party of Regions parliamentary faction, believes that an average candidate has spent at least 700,000 dollars on his election campaign. He considers high spending to be a negative factor.

“A person who’s spent lots of money will try to work off this spending in future upon becoming a deputy,” Yefremov hinted.

Traditionally, a lion’s share of expenses falls on TV advertising. According to the Industrial Television Committee, parties and self-nominated candidates spent at least 75 million dollars in the first nine months of this year. It will cost at least 190 million dollars to the budget of each contender.

The current election campaign has cost a bundle to Ukraine’s state budget. The government spent 125 million dollars to install web-cameras at polling stations. It’s slightly more than the 107.6 million dollars that were allocated to constituencies to organize the elections.

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