Results so far from Ukraine’s parliamentary election point to President Yanukovich’s Party of the Regions – with the help of long-time allies – securing more than half of the seats in the 450-member assembly needed to form a majority.
Yanukovich’s prime minister, Mykila Azarov said the result showed confidence in the president’s policies. He brushed off international criticism of the election saying that to assert the poll was not transparent was to say white is black.
The main united opposition bloc which includes Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party is poised for second place with the votes counted to date. And taking a seat in parliament for the first time will be boxing heavyweight champion Vitaly Klitschko. He heads the UDAR party – an acronym for punch. It is in fourth place behind the communists.
Some international observers condemned the poll as flawed. A European team of monitors said the ballot has “reversed democracy”.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe sent more than 800 people to observe the vote. It accused the ruling Party of Regions of using state resources to boost its campaign.