Pro-West coalition set to take power after Ukraine poll

27 October 2014

Ukrainian President Petro PoroshenkoUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said he will seek to form a coalition government within ten days, after elections on Sunday returned an overwhelmingly pro-Western parliament that is likely to back the president's attempts to negotiate an end to the violence in the east of the country.

With vote-counting almost complete today, six parties look set to take seats in the Ukrainian parliament.

The Poroshenko Bloc, the president's party, and the People's Front, led by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, were each on 21 per cent.

Self Reliance, a new Christian democratic party led by the Mayor of Lviv, was in third place with 11 per cent, according to lead results.

Others making it into parliament include the Opposition Bloc, a pro-Russian party formed by members of former president Viktor Yanukovych's Party of the Regions, the Radical Party of maverick nationalist Oleh Lyashko, and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland Party.

Svoboda, a far-right nationalist party that was prominent during the Maidan street protests last winter, may have lost its presence in parliament, with the current count putting it just short of the five percent threshold needed to enter parliament.

Half of the 450 seats in Ukraine's parliament are allotted by proportional representation under a party list system. A further 198 will be taken by candidates from single-member constituencies under first-past-the post.

Turnout was 51 per cent nationwide, the national election committee said.

The sweeping victory for pro-Western parties partly reflects a shift in public sentiment in the wake of February's revolution and subsequent Russian intervention.

But it is also a result of some of the country's most pro-Russian regions being removed from the electorate.

About five million people in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in April, and separatist-held areas of eastern Ukraine were unable to vote, and the 27 seats representing constituencies in those areas will remain empty.

Both areas traditionally backed the Party of the Regions, Yanukovych's pro-Russian party, which held the balance of power in the Duma.

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