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Thursday, May 29, 2014 | return to: news & features, international


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Far-right losses in Ukraine a good omen

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Jewish leaders in Ukraine expressed satisfaction with the poor showing of ultranationalist candidates in the country’s presidential elections and the victory by oligarch Viktor Poroshenko.

Poroshenko, from Odessa, won 54.4 percent of the vote in the May 25 elections, the Ukrainian Central Elections Commission announced on May 27.

“The resounding victory of Poroshenko  sends an important message of unity,” said Josef Zissels, chairman of the Vaad Association of Jewish Organization and Communities of Ukraine.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was second with 12.9 percent of the vote. Vadim Rabinovich, a Jewish community leader and businessman, finished seventh with 2.3 percent — more than the combined number of votes cast for Oleg Tyagnybok of the ultranationalist Svoboda party and for Dmytro Yarosh of the Right Sector movement.

“The failure of the ultranationalists reflects a reality we have been trying to represent all the time despite Russian propaganda’s attempt to portray Ukrainian society as intolerant,” Zissels said. — jta


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