Ultranationalist party gains in Ukrainian elections

The ultranationalist Svoboda Party, making unprecedented gains in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, can control a parliamentary faction for the first time.

Svoboda, or the Freedom Party, garnered 12 percent of the vote Oct. 28, according to exit polls, after winning less than 1 percent in the last election in 2007.

Party leader Oleg Tyagnibok in the past has called for purges of the approximately 400,000 Jews living in Ukraine, as well as other minorities.

Exit polls showed the governing Party of Regions of President Viktor Yanukovich in the lead with 27.6 percent to 32 percent, followed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party with 24 percent. Svoboda appeared to be fourth after a party led by former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko. — jta