Ukraine braced for decisive parliamentary elections Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 against the backdrop of unrest in eastern regions roiled by conflict between government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces.
Campaigning material was being taken down across the country in line with election laws ahead of a vote Sunday that pollsters say will be dominated by President Petro Poroshenko’s party.
Parliament is seen changing composition completely with the former ruling party of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by a street revolt in February, set to disappear from the legislature.
Speaking in a televised address Saturday, Poroshenko said the election would lead to a “full reset of power” and enable the formation of a reform-minded legislature.
“It is very difficult to press on the gas pedal with reforms when hundreds of deputies are simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion slamming the brakes,” he said.
Parties expected to enter into parliament all broadly share a pro-Western line and are united in their calls to tackle rampant corruption and undertake root-and-branch economic reforms. Skepticism remains strong toward a political elite that many Ukrainians continue to see as self-serving.
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Opening text from the AP Big Story, Ukraine Pauses Before Decisive Vote, by Nataliya Vasilyeva.
Lead Image Caption: A worker pastes an election poster of parliament election candidate Serhiy Taruta, in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014. Ukraine’s parliament elections are scheduled for Sunday Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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