International observers critical of bias in Ukraine vote

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Political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko said Mr. Yanukovych’s party likely will retain control over parliament but will face a strengthened opposition.

“The Party of Region won by the number of points, but the opposition scored a moral victory,” Mr. Fesenko said. “The monopoly on power will be harder to maintain.”

The showing of the far-right Svoboda party, which had been expected to barely pass the 5 percent vote threshold, emerged as a big surprise.

Svoboda, which campaigns for the preservation of the Ukrainian language and culture and strongly attacks Mr. Yanukovych, is also known for xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Analysts said the party’s popularity was due more to many Ukrainians’ anger with the ruling party than with vehemently nationalist views.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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