Sunday, October 26, 2014

Exit polls in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections show win for pro-Western blocs

By Michael Birnbaum October 26 at 3:09 PM WashPost

KIEV, Ukraine — Under the cloud of a bitter war in their nation’s east, Ukrainians on Sunday elected the most pro-European parliament in their country’s 23-year-old history, firmly backing an effort to steer their nation away from Russia’s orbit.

The work of the new legislature will be critical to Ukraine’s prospects for overcoming its towering challenges. The election was a final step to empower President Petro Poroshenko, who was elected in May after protests toppled Ukraine’s previous leader and unleashed the worst conflict between Russia and the West since the Cold War.

The new parliament, whose ranks will include a host of new faces, will have to help Ukraine resolve difficulties that would faze even the most experienced statesman. The country’s economy is ravaged by war. A cutoff of Russian natural gas threatens to create a heating crisis as early as January. And Russian-backed rebels firmly control key portions of the country’s industrial heartland in the east.

“I am proud of my people. I am proud of Ukraine,” Poroshenko told supporters in Kiev late Sunday. “At last we will have a pro-Ukrainian, pro-European coalition.” Earlier in the day, dressed in military fatigues, he visited a polling station in Kramatorsk, an eastern Ukrainian town formerly held by rebels that is about 25 miles from the front lines.

(More here.)

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