Ukraine ruling party ahead in election results
KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's ruling party is set for victory in legislative polls, comfortably ahead of the party of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko, whose jailing sparked Western concerns of foul play, early official results showed Monday.
With ballots counted from 14.6 percent of polling booths following Sunday's vote, the Regions Party of President Viktor Yanukovych was leading with 38.8 per cent of the votes cast with Tymoshenko's Fatherland alliance well back on 20 per cent, according to the preliminary figures from the electoral commission.
The elections for the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada chamber of parliament were a huge test for Ukraine's fragile democracy and already overshadowed by the imprisonment of Tymoshenko, who has now spent more than a year in jail for abuse of power while in office.
The early official figures differed greatly from Ukraine's longest-running exit poll, by the Democratic Initiative Foundation, which put the Regions Party in the lead but much more narrowly, with 28 per cent of the vote against 25 per cent for the Fatherland Alliance. Four other exit polls gave similar projections.