|By PR Newswire||
|October 29, 2012 11:07 AM EDT||
KYIV, Ukraine, October 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Four out of five of Ukraine's main political parties accepted the results of the country's October 28th parliamentary elections and a number of international election observers on Monday also declared the voting to have been in line with European standards.
Although some members of the OSCE delegation remained critical of the pre-election atmosphere, others cited as evidence of free and fair elections the fact that an entirely new party headed by professional boxer Vitali Klitschko, UDAR, won more than 12%, while the extremist and ultra-nationalist Svoboda party also scored enough to break the five percent threshold needed to make parliament and was polling around 8%.
Among the four political parties that accepted the results were the governing Party of the Regions, Klitschko's UDAR, the Communist Party and Svoboda. Only the Fatherland Party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who lost the 2010 presidential election race to President Viktor Yanukovych, refused to accept the results.
On Sunday night, after polls closed, the elections were praised by Pavel Koval, who headed the European Parliament's Observation Mission, as "the best ever held". Koval also termed Ukraine "a normal European democracy."
"I don't think the legitimacy of these elections can be put in question. And I don't think the EU or the Opposition will question it," he said.
"Today Ukraine has shown that it is not comparable to Kazkahstan, Belarus or any other post-Soviet country," said the European Parliament's observation chief.
Koval also called for a renewed effort to sign the Association Agreement that has been held up in recent months because of the legal case and jail sentence involving Tymoshenko.
Another international observer, Cyril Swoboda, the former Czech Foreign Minister, said he was "pleasantly surprised that people are willing to go and vote, a lot of people, just like at home."
Swoboda said he did not see any violations. "There is no doubt that the election was fair and transparent. Democracy is alive in Ukraine."
The ruling Party of the Regions received more votes than its rivals on Sunday, although the final count was not expected before Tuesday or Wednesday. Turnout was estimated at around 58%, according to the Central Electoral Commission.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who leads the Party of Regions' party list, said that "free and democratic elections have been conducted" and that "we have won in an absolutely honest fight."
The only doubts about the election process were expressed by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe, which in its report criticized the overall political atmosphere in Ukraine and the transparency of the campaign. Yet the OSCE did not challenge the results of the election.
SOURCE Eye on Ukraine