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Ukraine votes for new Parliament

Sunday - July 21, 2019 1:34 pm , Category : WORLD
Kiev, July 21 (IANS) Ukraine went to the polls on Sunday for early parliamentary elections, a litmus test for the country's new President whose party will have to win enough seats to be able to push forward their proposals without major obstacles.
Three months after the presidential elections and for the third time so far this year, nearly 30 million of the 44.8 million Ukrainians have been called to the polls.
Voting began at 8 a.m. at almost 30,000 polling stations across the country and will run for 12 hours, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC), reported Efe news.
Exit polls are expected immediately after polls close, while the vote count will begin at 11 p.m. The CEC plans to release the first official results early on Monday.
Ukrainians will vote for a new parliament, which in turn will elect the country's Prime Minister, hence the importance of President Volodymyr Zelensky's Servant of the People party securing a good result.
The newly-created party is favourite and surveys have reported up to 49 per cent intending to vote for it.
Other political parties are now in a tight race to split the rest of the votes.
According to the latest surveys of government polling organization, Rating, the pro-Russian Opposition Platform - For Life, is in second place with 10.5 per cent.
The other three parties in the battle for power are former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity (7.7 per cent), former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's Batkivschina or Fatherland (6.9 per cent) and Golos or Voice led by musician Sviatoslav Vakarchuk (5.9 per cent).
If Zelensky's party manages to secure more than 50 per cent of the votes, it would be the first party to govern alone since the country's independence.
However, the party may fall short and may need to form a coalition to approve key issues for Ukraine.
The Servant of the People is considering possible alliances with the Golos and Batkivschina.
More than 2,000 international observers, mostly from Europe, and more than 100 non-profits are overseeing the elections.
Russia is not part of the observation, since Kiev considers its neighbor an aggressor and occupying state.

--IANS
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