Election authorities in Ukraine have ordered a recount in five districts, amid allegations of fraud in the parliamentary election last week that resulted in a majority for President Viktor Yanukovych's ruling Regions party.
The country's Central Election Commission today declared that vote-counting in the disputed districts was unlawful and asked parliament to order new polls there, the Associated Press reported.
Lawmakers have not yet said whether they will agree.
Earlier today, hundreds of opposition supporters protested outside the commission's headquarters to demand a recount, Reuters reported.
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Three opposition groups – Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland coalition, the ultra-nationalist Freedom party and Punch, led by boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko – say that their victories have not been recognized in at least 13 districts.
The Fatherland bloc has threatened to push for snap parliamentary and presidential elections "if the authorities do not immediately stop the falsification of the election process," RIA Novosti reported.
Tymoshenko, meanwhile, is one week into a hunger strike in the jail where she is imprisoned for abuse of office during her time as prime minister. She has said she will continue her protest until the "rigged" vote is disallowed.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, however, insists that the elections were legitimate and the results in line with both pre- and post-vote surveys, Reuters said.
According to RIA Novosti, with 99.95 percent of ballots counted from the Oct. 28 vote, the Regions party won 30 percent, Fatherland had 25.5 percent, Punch 13.9 percent, the Communists 13 percent and Freedom 10 percent.
International observers called the poll a "step backwards" for democracy in Ukraine, criticizing "the abuse of power" and "excessive role of money."
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