In Ukraine the ruling party of President Viktor Yanukovich appears to have come out of the country’s parliamentary elections in the lead according to exit polls.
Even so, the Party of Regions celebrations in Kyiv were set against a backdrop of a strong showing by a combined opposition.
Official results are not expected until well into Monday, but the party leader and Ukraine’s prime minister wasted no time in claiming victory.
Mykola Azarov said: “The exit poll results say it all. Of course the vote counting is ahead and the results will be corrected but it is evident that the Party of Regions has won. Of course there are some for whom it is not evident, they wanted us to lose very much, but we have won.”
As Azarov was claiming the election to be a vote of confidence in the Yanukovich administration a colleague was already talking about the possible need for alliances.
First deputy prime minister Boris Kolesnikov said: “The communist party has read our programme, it knows our principles, and our doors are always open.”