Ukraine brushes off election concerns

Nov. 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Democratic principles weren't violated during late October elections in Ukraine that secured a victory for the ruling party, the country's prime minister said.

Last months' elections in Ukraine left the ruling Party of Regions in power, though the opposition Fatherland party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was close behind in second place.

European observers expressed concern about the "abuse of power and the excessive role of money in this election." Tymoshenko, a former revolutionary leader jailed after a conviction on corruption charges, launched a hunger strike to protest the conduct of the elections.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov brushed off criticism of the elections. The central government has nothing to do with electoral commissions or the reporting of results, he said.

"Neither democratic norms nor legal democratic procedures were in fact violated," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of Kiev to protest the results. A united opposition slate called for a recount of the votes from some polling stations, suggesting they may press further for early voting.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm