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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ukraine’s Ruling Party Wins 30 Percent in Parliamentary Elections

RIA Novosti

22:52 08/11/2012 KIEV, November 8 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine’s ruling Party of Regions has gained 30 percent of the vote in the October 28 parliamentary elections as all ballots in the vote on party lists and over 99 percent of election protocols in single mandate constituencies have been counted, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission reported on Thursday.

The opposition Fatherland party, led by jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, came second with 25.54 percent, and world famous boxer Vitali Klitschko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) got 13.96 percent.

They were followed by the Communist Party with 13.18 percent, and the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) Party with 10.44 percent. 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.

International election observers criticized what they called the abuse of administrative resources, a lack of media freedom during the campaign season, and the opaque campaign finances of the Party of Regions and pro-government “independent” candidates.

The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday set up an ad hoc commission to probe the reasons for the slow ballot count after voting in October 28 elections.

But President Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who leads the Party of Regions, praised the elections.

The prime minister dismissed the opposition's complaints over the slow ballot count, saying the Central Election Commission had up to 15 days to announce the results.

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