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November 05, 2012

Ukrainian Election Officials Call For Partial Vote Recount

by VOA News

Election officials in Ukraine have called for a recount of ballots cast in several districts during last month's vote, after the opposition threatened to boycott the country's new parliament over alleged vote-rigging.  

Some 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Central Election Commission building in Kyiv on Monday.  Police clashed with protesters but there was no major violence.

The commission declared Monday night that the vote tally from five disputed districts in the October 28 parliamentary election violated Ukrainian laws and the country's constitution.  It asked the current parliament to order a repeat election in those districts.

It is unlikely that the parliament, which is dominated by the ruling party, will heed the call.

Western observers called the election unfair because President Viktor Yanukovych's main rival Yulia Tymoshenko was imprisoned and unable to run.  Observers also criticized a lack of transparency in the vote count.

The final election results have not yet been announced, but Mr. Yanukovych's Party of Regions and its allies are expected to win a clear majority of the seats.

Three opposition parties made a strong showing in the proportional voting that chooses half of parliament's 450 seats.  An opposition boycott could deprive the legislature of its mandatory quorum of lawmakers.