UKRAINE ELECTION- EUROPE VS RUSSIAN !

Ukraine holds parliamentary elections on Sunday. With opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko serving time for alleged abuse of office, many say this cannot be called a democratic vote. The ruling Party of Regions is widely expected to win, though earlier this year, polls credited it with barely 20 per cent support. A report from Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv.

The Fatherland party, led by the jailed charismatic former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the Udar (Punch) of world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko and a nationalist party together received more than 50 percent of the vote on party lists, outnumbering Yanukovych’s Party of Regions and its traditional ally, the Communist Party.

Both Yanukovych’s and Tymoshenko’s parties claimed victory, saying the election showed the voters trust them to lead the country.

However, only half of the parliament’s 450 seats are split proportionately between the winning parties. The other half is filled by the winners of single-mandate races, where Yanukovych loyalists are expected to make a strong showing. In the election, each voter had two ballots, one with party names and one with the name of candidates in specific constituencies. No exit poll numbers were available for the individual races.

With Yanukovych under fire over the jailing of his top rival, Tymoshenko; rampant corruption and slow reforms, the opposition made a strong showing.

Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party is poised to get about 25 percent of the proportional vote, the Udar (Punch) led by world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko is set to get around 15 percent and the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) party receives some 12 percent. The Party of Regions polled 28 percent and the Communists nearly 12 percent.

If the three opposition groups unite, they could get 127 parliament seats versus 98 seats gained by the Regions and Communists. The distribution of the remaining 225 seats is expected to be clear Monday.

Opposition forces hope to garner enough parliament seats to weaken Yanukovych’s power and undo the damage they say he has done: the jailing of Tymoshenko and her top allies, the concentration of power in the hands of the president, the snubbing of the Ukrainian language in favor of Russian, waning media freedoms, a deteriorating business climate and growing corruption.

The strong showing by the far-right Svoboda (Freedom) party which campaigns for the defense of the Ukrainian language and culture but is also infamous for xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric emerged as a surprise and showed the widespread disappointment and anger with the ruling party.

It remains to be seen whether Tymoshenko’s group, Klitschko’s party and Svoboda can forge a strong alliance and challenge Yanukovych.

The election tainted by Tymoshenko’s jailing on charges of abuse of office has also been compromised by the creation of fake opposition parties, campaigns by politically unskilled celebrities, and the use of state resources and greater access to television by Yanukovych’s party.This is Osuji Innocent the living legend reporting .

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