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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Three cities in Ukraine have fallen behind in counting the votes cast during Sunday's parliamentary elections
Three cities in Ukraine have fallen behind in counting the votes cast during Sunday's parliamentary elections, the country's election authorities said Tuesday. The Central Election Commission said 38% of the votes had been counted in the capital Kiev, 41% in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol and 53% in Luhansk, a city in the eastern part of the country. Yaroslav Davydovych, the head of the commission, said the local election bodies had been ordered to speed up their work but that the situation was being complicated by the sheer workload. "I am not trying to justify those who work slowly, but there is a great deal of work to do, and this must be understood," he said. Vote counting is nearly complete in the Vinnytsya Region southwest of Kiev and the Zakarpattya and Ternopol Regions in western Ukraine, Davydovych said, adding that tallying in the east and south "left much to be desired." Eastern Ukraine traditionally votes for the pro-Russian Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych, the former rival of current President Viktor Yushchenko in the 2004 presidential race. The west and center tend to support former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc and pro-presidential party Our Ukraine. The final results from eastern and southern Ukraine could add votes to the Party of Regions, which currently holds the lead with almost 70% of votes counted, and push the People's Opposition party of Natalia Vytrenko over the 3% barrier to make it into the 450-seat parliament, the Supreme Rada. Presently, the Central Election Commission has counted 73.54% of votes, with the Party of Regions as the frontrunner with 30.24% of votes, followed by the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc with 20.42%, Our Ukraine 15.14%, Socialist Party 6.25% and the Communist Party 3.58%. The turnout at the elections was 67.13%, the commission said Monday. On Monday, Yushchenko instructed incumbent Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov to begin coalition talks. The president has already held consultations with Tymoshenko, who is making little secret of her desire to return to the post of premier, and Yanukovych. Tymoshenko, who was fired by Yushchenko about eight months after the "orange revolution" that brought them both to power, said a coalition with Yanukovych's Party of Regions was impractical. Talking about a mooted "orange" coalition to include her bloc, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine bloc, and the Socialist Party, Tymoshenko said: "I am 99% sure that the coalition will be formed, and I will mark this victory with intensive work." Meanwhile, the Party of Regions said it was ready to form a coalition with any other party or bloc.
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