30 Oct 2012

Corruption reported during Ukraine election

3:54 pm on 30 October 2012

International observers say parliamentary elections in Ukraine have been marred by corruption and abuses of power.

With half the votes counted, President Viktor Yanukovich's governing party says it has secured a majority, the BBC reports.

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko remains in prison where she is serving a seven year sentence for abuse of power. Mrs Tymoshenko is now on a hunger strike.

Officials said the election had passed off smoothly, with a turnout of some 45% - about average for Ukraine.

With nearly two-thirds of votes counted, the AFP reported Mr Yanukovych's Party of the Regions had 34.2% of party list votes, compared with 22.5% for Mrs Tymoshenko's party.

Early results indicated the Communists were in third place with about 15%.

The Party of the Regions is also predicted to take 114 of 225 single-mandate seats, which would secure a majority in the 450-seat assembly.