Pro-European parties look set to dominate Ukraine’s parliament after elections across most of the country on Sunday.
Exit polls put President Petro Poroshenko’s Bloc in the lead, followed by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyiuk’s People’s Front. A third pro-Western party came in third.
“The results of the election bring firm victory of all democratic pro-European, pro-Ukrainian forces. And that gives us a lot of opportunities to develop, to provide the reform,” said Poroshenko at a media conference.
The Russian government has recognised the results, according to the RIA news agency, which quotes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying:
“I think we will recognise this election because it is very important for us that Ukraine finally will have authorities which do not fight one another, do not drag Ukraine to the West or to the East, but which will deal with the real problems facing the country.”
Sunday’s elections took place just eight months after the revolution that ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych.
Preliminary results are expected on Monday and Poroshenko said a coalition could be formed quickly afterwards.
“We have 10 days to create a new government. I hope very much it will be the best because no other government will be able to cope with the challenges that the country is facing today,” he said.
The win will strengthen Poroshenko’s mandate to
carry out reforms sought by the EU while working towards ending the separatist conflict in the east of the country.
Current Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk will almost certainly be reappointed.
He told the media he hoped a coalition would be formed “in the shortest possible time frame” and that the new government would be made up “exclusively of professionals”.
Areas of Eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian rebels didn’t take part in the election but will vote on November 5.
Turn-out reached over 52 percent but was reported to be lower in the East due to fears about the ongoing conflict.