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Prior to his election, Trukhanov, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, was leader of the Party of Regions faction in Odessa's City Council.
The local election committee told ITAR-TASS after counting all the ballots that Trukhanov gained support of 43.49% Odessa voters. His rival Eduard Gurvits supported by the elected president of Ukraine Petro Porosenko, has scored 32.02%. The new mayor will take the oath of office at the extraordinary session of the city council scheduled for 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT).
Gurvits does not agree with the results and intends to challenge them in court. Earlier, special police units armed with batons and shields took the city election committee under protection from supporters of the current Kiev authorities, who surrounded the building, blocked the traffic and demanded to reconsider the election results and announce Gurvits as the winner.The protesters’ leaders blamed some “pro-Russian forces” in falsifying the voting results. Odessa’s Rodina party urged local residents opposing the current Kiev authorities “resist the provocations staged by Gurvits’s backers to destabilize the situation in the city”. However, there were no clashes reported.
Tempers flared around the Odessa mayoral elections after Savik Shuster Studio and Odessa Regional Organization of the Voters’ Committee of Ukraine jointly conducted an exit poll on Sunday, and the results showed that Gurvits was the winner. Meanwhile, the results of an exit poll conducted by the Committee for Citizens’ Protection showed that Trukhanov won.
Ukraine’s elections were held amid a deep political crisis and a large-scale military operation carried out by the Kiev authorities in the country’s eastern regions, which claims lives of civilians. In Odessa, this conflict turned to bloody riots on May 2, when Right Sector militants sent by Kiev and representatives of the so-called Maidan self-defense burned down the House of Trade Unions and a tent camp on the Kulikovo Pole square, where locals were gathering signatures for Ukraine’s federalization and for making Russian the second state language. 48 people died in the riots, and over 200 were wounded. Several Ukrainian politicians stated that Kiev authorities intentionally understated the number of casualties, which might reach 116 people.