Ukraine’s Ruling Party Gets 72 Seats in New Parliament
KIEV, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s ruling Party of Regions has gained 72 seats in the new parliament following the October 28 elections, the country’s central election commission said on Saturday.
The Party of Regions, which had won 175 out of 450 seats in the Supreme Rada during the previous 2007 elections, gained 30% of the vote in the last month’s polls.
The opposition Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, led by jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, came second with 25.54 percent (62 seats), and world famous boxer Vitali Klitschko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) got 13.96 percent (34 seats). They were followed by the Communist Party with 13.18 percent (32 seats), and the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) Party with 10.44 percent (25 seats). Other parties failed to pass the 5 percent electoral threshold.
The election to the 450-seat legislature was held in line with a mixed voting system, with half (225 deputies) elected on party lists and the other half in a simple majority vote in single mandate constituencies.
Opposition supporters protested alleged ballot rigging, while opposition leaders hinted at the possibility of pushing for early presidential and parliamentary elections.
Tymoshenko, who has been undergoing treatment in a Kharkov clinic since May, declared a hunger strike on October 29 in protest against alleged vote-rigging.
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