10/27/2014, 00.00
UKRAINE - RUSSIA
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Ukrainian elections: prime minister Yatseniuk’s party takes lead

by Nina Achmatova
The results are still provisional. The prime minister is highly unpopular with Moscow, he favors a hard-line to resolve the conflict in the East. The Kremlin considers him Obama’s "puppet". Second place goes to the Poroshenko formation. Talks underway to form a coalition capable of ensuring peace and reform.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - With 30.06% of the votes counted, the party of the interim prime minister Arseni Yatseniuk - the Popular Front - came out on top in the first parliamentary elections since the Maidan revolt, in Ukraine. 21.71% of voters have chosen the formation of the politician (close to the US, contrary to the truce in the East and dialogue with Russia's Vladimir Putin).

His chances of legitimately becoming prime minister are greatly increased; an  unwelcome scenario in Moscow, which claim he is Obama's "puppet". With 21.59% of the votes going to the Poroshenko block led by the oligarch and president-elect, who had hoped for a Rada more compact around his positions that would allow him to carry on with the necessary reforms and negotiations for peace in the Donbass without too many compromises.

Voting was not held in Crimea, annexed to Russia in March, or the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, controlled by the separatists. The first exit pool gave the victory to the Block, with 23% of the vote (still well below the expected 30%). Surprisingly, according to exit the pool, the liberal-moderate Samopomoch (Self-help) the mayor of Lviv, Andry Sadovy, were placed in third with 13.2%. Fourth place, again surprisingly, (7.6% according to exit the pool, 9.6% after the first ballot) went to  Members of the pro-Russian bloc of the Opposition, made ​​up of former members of the Party of Regions of former President Viktor Yanukovych.  

The radicals of Olen Lyashko - who submitted a list of fighters and military officers - is at 7.52%, while the passionate heroine of the Orange Revolution, the former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, with her Batkivschyna party, has only managed to gain 5.81%.

The anti-Semitic Svoboda nationalist party, according to preliminary data did not pass the electoral threshold of 5%, while the exit poll gave it 6.5%. The Communists also failed to gain enough votes and are thus out of parliament, for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine.

The exit pool assigned Pravi Sektor 2.4%. The result has proven satisfactory to the leader of the neo-Nazi formation which was behind the violent drift that overtook the Maidan protest: If confirmed, the figure shows an increase of consensus since the presidential election in May. The turnout was of 52.42%.

Poroshenko's failure to secure a majority seems certain and he will now have to form alliances with  the Rada to manage three areas of crisis: economic, political and security, with the civil war in the east that has already killed 3,700 people. In any case, the new Rada will see a predominance of pro-European forces, which according to analysts will be able to give the head of state a strong mandate for reform and conflict resolution.

Russia's influence is still being felt.  According to experts, Moscow would like to see a less pro-American prime minister appointed to move forward in negotiations with Kiev. Representatives of the Bloc and the National Front have already declared that they are ready to form a coalition. Yatsenyuk has already met with the president to discuss what to do. Poroshenko has called the Party of the interim prime minister his chief ally and announced the start of talks to outline a coalition government. These talks, he has said, could go on for ten days. "We have 10 days to create the best government in Ukraine, because no other government would be able to face the challenges that the country is facing today," said Poroshenko.

 

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