News / Europe

Exit Polls: Poroshenko Wins Ukraine Presidential Vote

Exit Polls: Poroshenko Wins in Ukrainei
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Al Pessin
May 25, 2014 8:06 PM
Former foreign minister Petro Poroshenko appears to have won the Ukrainian presidency with more than half the votes cast - avoiding the need for a second round, according to two polls of voters as they left polling stations Sunday. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Al Pessin
Former foreign minister Petro Poroshenko appeared to have won the Ukrainian presidency with more than half the votes cast - avoiding the need for a runoff, according to two polls of voters as they left polling stations Sunday.
 
The polls conducted by several research organizations said Poroshenko received between 56 and 58 percent of the vote, far ahead of his nearest rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who trailed with about 13 percent. She conceded the election in a speech Sunday night.

Final results are expected Monday.

Ukraine's government was determined to go ahead with the election despite threats from pro-Russian separatists in the east, who blocked access to polling places. No voting stations were open in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, while a scant 16 percent voter turnout is reported in the entire Donetsk region.

President Barack Obama congratulated the Ukrainian people for making their voices heard over the violence and provocations. He said Ukrainians repeatedly have shown their desire to chose their own leaders and live in a democracy. Obama said the United States looks forward to working with the new Ukrainian president and the elected parliament.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is promising to recognize the outcome of the election, despite expressing misgivings about its legitimacy. He also said he hopes Ukraine's new president will end military operations against separatists in the east.

Sunday's election was the climax of sometimes violent anti-government protests that started last year and drove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from power. It also led to a Russian takeover of  Crimea, a Russian-speaking Ukrainian peninsula.

Crowded polling stations

Researchers criticized election officials for long lines that formed at some polling stations late in the day, which they blamed partly on poor organization. The pollsters said they increased the margin of error because of the lines, but not enough to change the results.
 
Poroshenko thanked voters, particularly some who traveled from Russian-controlled Crimea to vote.
 
Poroshenko said the first thing he will do is work to bring peace to the east. He said his first trip will be to that area.
 
In eastern Ukraine, Russian-backed separatists have taken over some towns and public buildings, and have been fighting deadly battles with government forces.

Poroshenko said his next war will be against corruption, and that he will deepen the country’s ties to the European Union.
 
Voter turnout was strong in most of the country, exceeding 50 percent in many areas.  But in two eastern districts, hundreds of polling stations never opened and others had low turnouts.  

Election monitors said separatists intimidated both voters and election workers.  
 
In addition, clashes between separatists and government forces continued in at least one area on Sunday.  

One voter in Kyiv, a student who gave his name only as Volodymyr, summarized the hopes expressed by many Ukrainians on Sunday.
 
“I hope that these votes, they will bring us consolidation, they will bring us the needed economic new reforms that will make our country really European," Volodymyr said.
 
No serious election problems

Thousands of Ukrainian and international observers monitored the election.  

There were no reports of serious problems, except in the east.

The foreign observers will make their official reports on Monday. One monitor at a Kyiv voting station was U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess.

“From everything I’ve seen this morning, from a policy standpoint, from a procedural standpoint, things seem to be going as well or better than could be expected," said Burgess.

The apparent winner, Poroshenko, made his money in the candy business and has served as foreign minister and economics minister. He is pro-European, but political analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin sees him as someone he can work with.  
 
In spite of backing the separatists and keeping thousands of Russian troops near the border, Putin said this week that he would accept the results of the Ukrainian election.
 
Sunday's vote is widely seen as the most important election since Ukraine gained independence with the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
 

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
May 25, 2014 10:49 PM
What's the point of election if you can just riot and remove a legitimate president with violence?
Or they gonna be like Thailand, red army and yellow army are fighting each other's everyday no matter who is the president.
So much for the democracy.


by: Rodney from: Australia
May 25, 2014 10:22 PM
The election result in effect is a resounding vote by the people of Ukraine against US interference in Ukraine along with its present lapdog Britain. The above like all propaganda does not look at the facts. Only 45% of people voted overall. He got say 56%.
That means his support is at most 25%.
Only about 10/15% were prevented from voting in the East b if you can believe Western Newspaper reports. In other words about 40/45% of people voiced there opposition to US intervention by not voting.
Complete humiliation for the USA again sticking there big nose into areas for there own self interests and shooting off there loud mouths as usual.
On such an important vote only 45% turning up to vote says it all. Lets hope the President Elect is far more balanced than his sponsors and now does what should have been done all along and proposed by Russia. He does turn to the people in the east and show some respect for there views and if necessary supports a Federal type system as exists in Canada that takes into account the interests and aspirations of the east. If that does not happen we could see real civil war. The only 45% turnout should be heeded. No more propaganda from the USA and its lapdog Britain. You have failed to do anything more than divide the country further. Time to but out and let the more balanced leaders of Russia and Germany sort it out and true representatives of both the East and West of Ukraine. Typical two faced USA paranoid interference and lying at its worst. Australian.

In Response

by: PrayerInTheDark from: Nowhere
May 26, 2014 7:27 AM
I'm totally agree with you. But! I don't think that Poroshenko will be able to make decisions without help from USA.


by: meanbill from: USA
May 25, 2014 10:28 AM
TRUTH BE TOLD -- Yanukovych was still the legal President of Ukraine until these new legal democratic elections, no matter if they're boycotted or not -- (AND NOW?) -- and now Russia will accept and honor the results of these new Ukraine democratic elections, and will now accept and negotiate with this new elected Ukraine government -- (BUT?) -- but this doesn't in any way, change the undeniable facts of the declaration of independence of the (2) separatists states -- (AND?) -- and the new Ukraine government must negotiate with them and the Russians, if they will become autonomous regions, or independent states, or return to Ukraine... --
FACT? -- The Russians wouldn't negotiate with the terrorists that seized the Ukraine government by force -- (BUT NOW?) -- but now the Russians will negotiate with the legally elected government of todays election, (if boycotted or not) by the (2) independent states -- (BECAUSE?) -- because the (2) independent states, are independent from Ukraine, and they aren't part of Ukraine anymore, are they? --- (HELLO?)..

In Response

by: PrayerInTheDark from: Nowhere
May 26, 2014 4:00 AM
@A Dull Roar, oh, dude, of course you know better what happens in southeast of Ukraine.

In Response

by: Bob from: USA
May 25, 2014 5:57 PM
Meanbill, why does it sound like you are writing with the rhythm of "We Both Reached for the Gun" from Chicago?

In Response

by: A Dull Roar from: U.S.
May 25, 2014 5:41 PM
The so-called "declarations of independence" were made by a small minority with guns, paid for with Russian rubles. Meaningless. If they believed in their kangaroo referendums, then why did they not allow eastern Ukrainians to vote? What are they afraid of? So, so transparent.

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