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Ukraine's Party of Regions unlikely to form majority in parliament

October 30, 2012, 15:16 UTC+3
It has secured 193 of 450 mandates, but needs at least 226 to pass decisions
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KIEV, October 30 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine is to count less than ten percent of voting papers before it will sum up the results of the parliamentary elections held last Sunday. The Party of Regions led by President Viktor Yanukovich is unlikely to have a parliamentary majority in the 7th Verkhovnaya Rada /parliament/. It has secured 193 of 450 mandates, but needs at least 226 to pass decisions. These can be delivered by 44 self-nominees, among whom are many supporters of the ruling party. It also pins hopes on the Communists who have 34 mandates as of now.

The Opposition will usher 100 candidates into the parliament, the UDAR party - 37 and the Svoboda Party - 34. Several deputies and two radicals might join them. This set-up guarantees a low viability of the parliament. Many well-known politicians have not been elected to the top legislative body, such as former President Viktor Yushchenko, former speaker Alexander Moroz, and Svyatoslav Piskun, who held the post of prosecutor general three times.

Among the losing candidates is Taras Chornovil, son of Vyashelav Chornovil, leader of the Narodny Rukh Party killed in a car crash in the late 1990s who had competed with Leonid Kuchma for presidency.

The Ukraine-Forward Party led by Natalia Korolelvskaya only gathered 1.6 percent of votes. She was a close associate of Yulia Timoshenko. Well-known football player Andrei Shevchenko and actor Ostap Stupko, son of diseased Bogdan Stupka, who was a leading theatre and cinema figure, have not been elected either. An analysis of the parliament setup will be possible later. The situation of 2007, when 127 "temporarily unemployed" were elected, will hardly happen again, analysts said.

Member of the Ukrainian Central Election Commission Vladimir Okhendovsky said the video monitoring system has shown its effectiveness. A total of 32,192 voting stations in the country were equipped with web cameras to monitore the voting process, in accordance with the resolution on ensuring openness, transparence and democracy of the election of Ukraine’s people's deputies on October 28, 2012.

Video reports were aired by 99 percent of voting stations. As many as 500,000 Internet users watched the voting on vybory2012.gov.ua.

As expected, the system showed an unprecedented level of transparency of the voting. Of course, it will contribute to high level of trust to election results both in Ukraine and abroad. On the other hand, one has to note a very low level of violations of the election law at voting stations. Obviously, the video monitoring system has performed its other function, i.e. preventing provocations during voting and vote-count, Okhendovsky said.

On Tuesday afternoon, the CEC said the Opposition leads in 16 regions on party lists, while the Party of Regions won 12 majority constituencies.

Batkivshchina took lead in the Vinnitsa, Volyn, Zhitomir, Ivano-Frankovsk, Kirovograd’s, Kiev, Poltava, Rovno, Sumy, Ternopol, Khmelnitsky, Cherkassy, Chernovtsy, and Chernigov regions and in Kiev. In the Lvov region, the Opposition won six districts, and the Svoboda nationalist association leads in another six. The western and central regions have traditionally supported the Opposition or centrist political parties.

Opposition leader, former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko who is serving a 7-year sentence, believes the parliamentary elections were the most dishonest in the entire history of Ukraine's independence.

"Ukraine held the most dishonest election in the whole period of its independence," she said in a statement released by her lawyer Sergei Vlasenko.

In Timoshenko's opinion, recognizing these elections honest and legitimate means to "fully demoralize the Ukrainian nation, i.e. the part of our people who still believes in justice and European choice."

According to the former premier, if she were free now, she would urge Ukrainians to stage "an indefinite civil disobedience campaign."

"But being behind the bars, I cannot call you out into the squares, because I cannot guarantee a peaceful nature and high level of organization of such actions," the ex premier empathized, "so I'm doing what I can do under such conditions: I'm announcing a hunger strike in protest against election fraud and illegality of this parliament. I know and hope that a majority of Ukrainians will support me."

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry underlined in its statement that all the recommendations by international observers would be taken into consideration and carefully analyzed. At the same time, Kiev stated that " the results of the voting warrant a confident claim that the main principles of domestic and foreign policy of Ukraine would remain unchanged. The election of the new parliament creates favorable prerequisites for stepping up the implementation of democratic and economic reforms, initiated by President Viktor Yanukovich and further implementation of the strategic course towards European integration."

 

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