A preliminary exit poll on Ukraine’s parliament elections shows that the ruling party of President Viktor Yanukovych is leading.
The ruling Party of Regions got 28.1 percent and the opposition party headed by imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko got 24.7 percent.
The far-right Freedom party got 12.5 percent, the Communist party got 12.5 percent, and the anti-corruption Udar party, which is headed by former boxer Vitali Klitschko, received 15.4 percent, reported the Kyiv Post and other media outlets. The poll results are only preliminary and the final result will be announced Oct. 31.
There were reports of violations.
“The number of violations among majoritarian candidates is several times bigger, than the ones committed by the candidates from the party lists. The most widespread violation is buying votes and using administrative resources,” said analyst Viktor Taran, who helped found the NGO Chesno, a transparency advocacy group, according to Radio Free Europe.
Oleksandr Turchynov, the head of Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna party, accused Yanukovych’s government of carrying out “massive election fraud,” reported the Kyiv Post.
He accused the Party of Regions of trying to increase their voter count after the polling stations closed in some areas.
“When the polling stations [in Donetsk Oblast] have closed, the voter turn out there was at 48-54 percent,” he told the Post. “As of now [at around 10 p.m.] in some districts the voter turn out suddenly jumped to 70 percent.”
Some Ukrainian voters also reported apparent violations during the elections.
There were three “voting stations in Odessa report that regular pens were replaced with disappearing ink,” one person said via Twitter, according to the newspaper.
“Update: invisible ink pens have been found in 49 of the 86 polling stations in the Kiev district of Odessa,” another tweet reads.
But Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who heads the Party of Regions, insisted that his party clearly won the election.
“It is absolutely obvious that the Party of Regions has won,” Azarov said, according to Radio Free Europe. “It is obvious to everyone. It will not be obvious only to a handful of voices. Some would very much wish that we lost, but we won. We won in an absolutely fair fight.”
The Party of Regions also reported that its websites were hacked.
It blamed “information terrorists,” who sought to block “the right of the party’s supporters and journalists to access the trustworthy and competent information about the parliamentary elections,” the party told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
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