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A European team monitoring Ukraine’s election on Sunday says the country has taken “a step backwards” compared with the 2010 presidential vote.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe sent more than 600 people to observe the parliamentary ballot.

In a statement, the OSCE said there was a “lack of a level playing field” in Sunday’s election.

They blamed President Viktor Yanukovich’s ruling Party of Regions for using state resources to boost its campaign.

The team also said national media coverage of the election had been unbalanced and had concerns about campaign financing.

The statement said the inability of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko to run as a candidate also “negatively affected” the election process.

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