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Party of Regions leads in Ukraine as vote counting nears an end

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With 98.17% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions looks set to win parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
KIEV, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - With 98.17% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions looks set to win parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

The Party of Regions has so far gathered 34.14% of the vote, closely followed by the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, which has scored 30.87%.

The pro-presidential Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense is in third place with 14.29%. Other parties that have overcome the 3% threshold to the Supreme Rada include the Communists (5.36%) and former parliamentary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn's bloc (3.95%).

The Socialist Party has not negotiated the 3% barrier. A total of 2.71% of Ukrainians voted 'against all'.

A Ukrainian Central Election Commission member, Mikhail Ohendovskiy, told journalists Tuesday that the commission has still not received results from 742 polling stations. He said he hoped the commission would receive all the remaining data on Wednesday.

Pro-Western Yushchenko, who came to power on the back of the "orange revolution" in 2004, said Monday that vote counting in some regions, including the Crimea, was being dragged out, and asked the Central Election Commission and the Prosecutor General's Office to provide an explanation.

However, Alexey Boyarchuk, a member of the pro-Russian Party of Regions, attributed the delay to the fact that those regions were more populated than western ones.

"The president can say anything he wants. But the law says that results have to be submitted to the Central Election Commission by [October] 14. This law has not been violated by anyone," he added.

Yulia Tymoshenko said Tuesday that she and President Yushchenko had agreed to start forming a parliamentary coalition and Cabinet.

"We spoke about the formation of a new coalition. We have no doubts now that democratic forces will have an advantage in parliament," she told a briefing, adding that the formation of the government will start after preliminary election results have been announced.

Tymoshenko said the new coalition would consist of her eponymous bloc and Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense, which would make, according to currently available results, over 45% of the total vote, against slightly more than 34% gained by the Party of Regions.

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