KIEV, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - Polling stations opened for voting at the early elections of lawmakers to the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada).
The polling stations will run until 8 p.m. local time (18:00 GMT).
A total of 29 political parties are expected to take part in the Verkhovna Rada election. Petro Poroshenko Bloc, backed by the incumbent president, is considered to be the undisputed leader, with an approval rating of about 25 percent. Poroshenko has tasked his party with drafting an agreement to secure a 300-seat coalition.
Incumbent Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk heads the political council of the newly-created the People's Front Party and is going to compete with the pro-presidential bloc. According to preliminary polls, Yatsenyuk's party is likely to come third in a best-case scenario.
Other strong contenders, according to surveys, are Oleh Lyashko's Radical Party, Yulia Tymoshenko's Batkivshchyna, Civil Position, People's Front and Strong Ukraine, while the Communist Party, right-wing Svoboda and far-right Right Sector are likely to lose seats.
Ukrainians will go to the polls to vote in 424 members of parliament — 225 of them from party lists and 199 in single-candidate constituencies. The electoral threshold is 5 percent.
The last election took place in October 2012. On August 26 Poroshenko dissolved the Verkhovna Rada and declared an early parliamentary vote, saying that the composition of the parliament, elected under the presidency of ousted Viktor Yanukovych, was no longer relevant to the existing political situation.