News / Europe

Exit Surveys: Strong Opposition Showing in Ukraine Vote

A young man helps an elderly voter read her voting ballot at a polling station in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.A young man helps an elderly voter read her voting ballot at a polling station in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
x
A young man helps an elderly voter read her voting ballot at a polling station in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
A young man helps an elderly voter read her voting ballot at a polling station in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.
James Brooke
Exit surveys of voters in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections indicate that the nation’s three opposition parties performed strongly, winning about half of the seats allotted by party lists.  

Analysts call Sunday’s vote a test of Ukraine’s democratic credentials as it balances relations between the European Union and Russia.  Midway through the five-year presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, opposition critics say the elections are critical to curb authoritarian moves by Yanukovych.
 
According to television projections, the opposition parties might win a narrow majority of the 225 allotted seats.  But the other 225 seats are reserved for candidates running individually. Critics say it will be difficult to monitor vote counting in each of these districts.
 
Many candidates ran as independents. President Yanukovych is expected to draw many independents into his ruling coalition. Exit surveys indicated that as many as one-third of voters cast their ballots for the president’s Regions Party, and that about 11 percent of voters selected Yanukovych's parliamentary ally - the Communist Party of Ukraine.
 
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the ruling party is the clear victor in the elections.  Other Regions Party officials predicted that the ruling party would win a parliamentary majority.
 
Political scientist Olexiy Haran at Kyiv Mohyla University says independents will play a key role in Ukraine's politics.  “It’s more or less clear that a lot of MPs [i.e., members of Parliament] would be so-called independent, and in the future - in the future parliament - there would be pressure on them to join the pro-government coalition,” he said.
 
Analysts say that the independents might be needed by Mr. Yanukovych to form a 51 percent majority in the 450-member parliament.  But, they add, the president is unlikely to hold the two-thirds majority needed to allow him to change Ukraine’s constitution.
 
Preliminary results are expected on Monday, but final composition of the new parliament might not be known for weeks. 
 
Surveys indicate that about one-quarter of the electorate cast ballots for the Fatherland Party of Yulia Tymoshenko.  Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, was unable to run because she is serving a seven-year jail term for abuse of office.  Many analysts say Tymoshenko’s imprisonment has bolstered her political fortunes.  Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the standard bearer of the Fatherland Party, vowed Sunday night to fight for a fair vote count.
 
Exit surveys of voters indicate strong showings for two parties that are new on the national scene.  UDAR, or Punch - the party of heavyweight champion boxer Vitaly Klitschko - appeared to draw about 15 percent of the party list vote.  And the nationalist party Svoboda, or Freedom, appeared to draw about 12 percent of the vote. Both parties favor stronger ties with the European Union.
 
Fatherland and UDAR are already in a formal parliamentary alliance.  Klitschko said he would join the opposition alliance after Sunday’s vote.  After the polls closed, Oleksandr Turchynov, a Svoboda leader, promised to maintain his opposition alliance with the Fatherland Party.
 
Many Ukrainians say the election results will shape the future of democracy in their country - the second largest nation after Russia to emerge from the former Soviet Union.  About 3,500 international observers monitored the balloting.  Opposition politicians charge that there was widespread fraud, including the false registering of several hundred thousand voters as sick, so that voting could take place without being monitored.
 
Many voters complained of confusing ballots. Three Green Parties were listed. In many areas, popular opposition candidates found themselves competing on ballots with unknown candidates with the same last name.
 
In a nationwide survey conducted earlier this month, 47 percent of respondents said they feared that voting irregularities would be so significant that they would effect the outcome of the elections. 

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
October 29, 2012 6:30 AM
if ukraines incumbent thinks that russia will feel remorseful for being the ones who dealt with tymoshenko and hence her current stay in ukraine prison,then they are wrong all the way...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs