(Vatican Radio) Anti-government voters in western Ukraine have expressed concern that
the party of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych has claimed victory in parliamentary
elections. Sunday's vote was overshadowed by the jailing of the country's top opposition
leader and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Her fans and others say the outcome
will lead to more social tensions and split the former Soviet nation.
a strong showing of pro-Western opposition parties, the Ukrainian president's Party
of Regions and Communist allies are expected to retain their parliamentary majority
and form a new government.
Though ballots are still being counted, Prime
Minister Minister Mykola Azarov already concluded that the Party of Regions has “an
That comes as a major setback for people in western
Ukraine where many support the opposition.
Valja Kvics, speaking to Vatican Radio in the strategic border town of Uzhhorod.
who takes care for her elderly ill parents, said she saw her dreams smashed by the
current ruling party and that people are struggling.
"The biggest problem
is the low income people have," she noticed, while waiting on a local bus in the bitter
"We want that the government creates more jobs with better
salaries. We now have about 1,500 or 2,000 hryvnia, that's about 150 or 170 euro a
month,"she said. "With these rising prices, that's not enough."
is upset that former Prime Minister Tymoshenko has been jailed on charges of abuse
of power, despite international calls for her release as a condition for European
Tymoshenko's Fatherland party
received about a quarter of the ballots followed by the Udar, or 'Punch' party, of
world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko with around 15 percent.
already dealt a blow to the political establishment ruling out any parliamentary coalition
with the ruling Party of Regions.
Yet, the opposition's far-right Svoboda
party, which campaigns for the defense of the Ukrainian language and culture also
That was expected to raise international concern as it is also
infamous for xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric,
Tudor Kilaru, the 33-year-old
charismatic presenter of the Uzhhorod-based regional 'Tisa' broadcaster, says he voted
for Svoboda because of the ruling party's pro-Russian policies.
He fears the election outcome will increase calls to split this
country of 46 million people between its pro-Russian east and its pro-European Union
"Maybe if you get more patriotic, national ideas in the parliament
maybe they will be a good balanced force to the pro-Russian forces. Parliament is
now too pro-Russian," he said.
"You don't have any opposition towards that
thought. That's why I voted for that [Svoboda] party, that I really don't like."
the West seeing the poll as a test of Ukraine's commitment to democracy, the elections
have been closely watched by observers from the OSCE European security and human rights
body who will hand down their observations later on Monday.