It's a huge F U to Putin:Pro-Europe parties secure big election win in Ukraine: exit pollBY RICHARD BALMFORTH AND NATALIA ZINETS
KIEV Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:24pm EDT
(Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed a sweeping victory for pro-Europe parties in an election on Sunday, saying the vote showed people backed his plan to end a separatist conflict, his pro-Western course and democratic reforms.
Poroshenko's bloc took 23 percent of the votes cast for a field of 29 competing parties, just ahead of the party of his ally, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, according to an exit poll issued after voting stations closed in the ex-Soviet republic.
Addressing Ukrainians two hours after polling ended, he thanked voters for backing a "democratic, reformist, pro-Ukrainian and pro-European majority".
"The majority of voters were in favor of the political forces that support the president's peace plan and seek a political solution to the situation in the Donbass," Poroshenko said, referring to the region of the industrialized east where government forces have been fighting separatist rebels.
The result, confirmed by other exit polls, opened up the possibility of Poroshenko, a 49-year-old confectionery magnate, continuing to work in tandem with Yatseniuk, with the latter staying as prime minister to handle sensitive talks with the West on aid for the war-shattered economy.