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.
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

Nearly Every Job in America Mapped in Detail

A nifty map pinpoints practically every job in the United States, revealing the economic character of America’s metropolitan areas, which also helps to inform the local culture

Corruption Busting Is Her Game

South African activist is building 'international online community of thousands of corruption fighters'

Former SAF Businessman Gives Books, Love of Reading to Students

Steve Tsakaris now involved in nonprofit Read to Rise, which distributes books in Soweto, encourages lower-grade primary school students to read

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs