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PM Yanukovych's party leads Ukraine polls-election commission - 2

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Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's party is leading the parliamentary polls in Ukraine with over 86% of votes counted, the central election commission said Monday.
(Changes figures in the lead, para 2-3, adds details in paras 3, quotes in para 5-6)

KIEV, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's party is leading the parliamentary polls in Ukraine with over 86% of votes counted, the central election commission said Monday.

The Party of Regions has scored 33.05% of the vote, closely followed by the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (31.58%), which topped the polls earlier on Monday.

The pro-presidential bloc, Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense has 14.73% of the vote. Other parties likely to overcome the required 3% threshold include the Communists with 5.27% of the vote, former parliamentary Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn's bloc with 3.99% and the Socialists with 3.03%.

Mikhail Kamynin, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said Russia was satisfied that the elections in Ukraine were free and democratic.

"According to assessments by Russian observers and various international organizations, the elections complied with the principle of freedom of choice. Ukrainian people were given the opportunity to express their political preference," Kamynin said.

The diplomat added that, "Russia is ready to continue its active dialogue with Ukraine based on principles of good-neighborliness, pragmatism and mutually beneficial cooperation."

The commission said turnout at Ukraine's second parliamentary elections since the 2004 'orange revolution' stood at 62.5%, with 50% required for the vote to be legitimate.

The President Viktor Yushchenko dismissed the legislature in April and called snap elections, accusing Yanukovych of "usurping power." The political rivals agreed to hold elections on September 30 following months of political infighting and protests.

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