Pro-West parties, nationalists win
Pro-Western and nationalist parties swept Ukraine's parliamentary election yesterday, exit polls showed, in a boost for President Petro Poroshenko's anti-corruption reforms and attempts to end a war with pro-Russian rebels.
The results pointed to overwhelming consensus on Ukraine's bid to steer from Russia's orbit on a pro-Western path eventually targeting European Union membership.
The snap election came eight months after a street revolt overthrew Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, sparking conflict with Russia and a crisis in relations between the Kremlin and Ukraine's Western allies.
The polls were called to clear out the last vestiges of Yanukovych's regime -- and to some extent this was achieved.
For the first time since the Soviet collapse the Communist Party, which used to support Yanukovych, failed to clear the minimum level of votes for entering parliament.
However, in a vivid sign of ongoing divisions, the Opposition Bloc, made up of Yanukovych associates, got into the legislature with 7.6 percent of the vote.
The Petro Poroshenko Bloc led with 23 percent of the vote, meaning the president will have to seek a coalition partner. That will most likely be the People's Front group of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which was runner up with 21 percent.