Five parties to enter Ukraine's next parliament
The seventh parliamentary elections in Ukraine concluded on Sunday evening as five political parties are expected to receive seats in the next parliament, according to Xinhua.
According to exit polls conducted by different searching companies, the five parties are incumbent President Viktor Yanukovych's ruling Party of Regions, the United Opposition or " Fatherland" Party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the "Punch" Party led by heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitchko, the Ukrainian Communist Party and the National Patriotic Party "Freedom."
As expected, all the exit polls showed the Party of Regions took lead in the elections with garnering a percent of the party- list vote ranging from 27.6 to 32.
Although the ruling party is expected to maintain its control in the Ukraine's supreme legislative body, the opposition parties performed noticeably in the polls. According to exit polls, the " Fatherland" Party of Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of abuse of office last year, came off second best with over 23 percent of the vote.
The other three parties also gained more than 10 percent of the vote, which passed the five-percent threshold of the parliament.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) said late Sunday afternoon that final preliminary results of parliamentary elections would be announced on Wednesday.
The elections, which lasted for 12 hours from 8:00 a.m.(0600 GMT) to 8:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), are conducted under a mixed system, with 225 members of parliament elected on party lists and the remaining 225 in single-seat constituencies.
There are 33,000 polling stations in Ukraine and 114 overseas stations in 77 countries and regions and some 36.6 million registered voters will elect the 450-seat assemble, according to the CEC.
Oleksandr Chernenko, head of the Ukrainian Committee of Voters, forecast that voter turnout at the parliamentary elections would exceed 60 percent.
In order to ensure transparency and democracy in the polls, video monitoring system was deployed in all polling stations. Ukrainians and other Internet users could follow and monitor the voting process at targeted stations on-line.
"The elections in Ukraine proceed smoothly," the CEC chairman Volodymyr Shapoval told reporters.
Meanwhile, the elections were monitored by 3,800 international and 240,000 local observers.
In addition, the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Ukraine said 70,000 policemen have been deployed to safeguard the Election Day.