Ukraine election results

KIEV, Ukraine — Billionaire Petro Poroshenko claimed Ukraine’s presidency on Sunday after exit polls gave him an absolute majority in a first round of voting and, vowing to end a conflict with pro-Russian rebels, he pledged to align his country with Europe.

Exit polls gave Poroshenko, a confectionery magnate with long experience in government, more than 55 percent of the vote, well ahead of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in second place with just over 12 percent. If his majority is confirmed by results on Monday, there will be no need for a runoff vote on June 15.

Ukrainians, weary of six months of political turmoil, hope their new president will be able to pull the country of 45 million people back from the brink of bankruptcy, dismemberment and civil war that prevented voting in parts of the Russian-speaking east.

“All the polls show that the election has been completed in one round, and the country has a new president,” Poroshenko, 48, told a news conference. His businesses have earned him a fortune of more than $1 billion and the nickname the “Chocolate King.”

At his campaign headquarters, Poroshenko told supporters the majority of Ukrainians had given him a mandate to continue a course of integration with the rest of Europe but said his first priority was to travel to the east of the country to end “war and chaos” caused by armed pro-Russian separatists there.

He said he was ready to negotiate with opponents and offer amnesty to those who laid down weapons — but he ruled out any negotiation with killers and “terrorists.”

Pro-Russian separatists barred people from voting in much of Ukraine’s Donbass industrial heartland, turning the main city of Donetsk into a ghost town, after days of violence in the surrounding region in which at least 20 people were killed.

Asked by a foreign journalist about relations with Russia, Poroshenko, speaking in fluent English, said he would insist on respect for Ukraine’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” He also said Ukraine would never recognize Russia’s “occupation of Crimea,” the Black Sea region seized by Moscow in March.

But Poroshenko will have to try to find common ground with Ukraine’s giant northern neighbor, which provides most of its natural gas and is the major market for its exports. He was later quoted as saying that he would “certainly” meet Russian President Vladimir Putin since Russian involvement was essential to establishing stability.

UPHEAVAL and unrest

Sunday’s election marked the culmination of a revolution that erupted in November, forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich to flee in February and spiraled into an existential crisis when Moscow responded by declaring its right to invade Ukraine to protect its large Russian-speaking population.

The pro-Moscow separatists have proclaimed independent “people’s republics” in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk and blocked voting there as that would imply they were still part of Ukraine. No vote was held in Russian-annexed Crimea.

Ukrainian officials hailed a high voter turnout in much of the sprawling country but said only about 20 percent of polling stations in the two restive eastern regions had functioned. One man was reported killed in a shootout in Luhansk region after what officials said was a militant raid on a polling station.

After a truce during the election weekend, government forces would shortly resume the “active phase” of their “anti-terrorist operation,” a Ukrainian minister told local media.

Putin, who branded eastern Ukraine “New Russia” last month, has made more accommodating noises of late, saying on Saturday he would respect the voters’ will. He has announced the pullback of tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the border.

But the absence of more than 15 percent of the potential electorate from the election could give Moscow an excuse to raise doubts about the victor’s legitimacy and continue applying pressure on the new president in Kiev.

Poroshenko is hardly a new face in Ukrainian politics, having served in a cabinet under Yanukovich and also under a previous government led by Yanukovich’s opponents. This breadth of experience has given him a reputation as a pragmatist capable of bridging Ukraine’s divide between supporters and foes of Moscow.

He nevertheless was a strong backer of the street protests that toppled Yanukovich and is thus acceptable to many in the “Maidan” movement of pro-European protesters who have kept their tented camp in the capital to keep pressure on the new leaders.

Yanukovich fled in February after more than 100 people were killed, and Moscow refused to recognize the interim leaders in Kiev, describing them as a fascist junta who threaten the safety of millions of Russian-speakers.

Tymoshenko, freed from jail on the day Yanukovich fled to Russia, appeared to accept her defeat by a long-time rival, saying in a brief appearance that the vote had been fair.

Ukrainians hope the vote can help ease the crisis because Moscow could not so quickly dismiss an elected leader with a solid mandate.

The United States and the European Union also view the election as a decisive step toward ending their worst confrontation with Moscow since the Cold War.

Their response to Russian interference in Ukraine so far has been limited to freezing the assets of a few dozen Russian individuals and small firms. But they have threatened to take far more serious measures, even targeting whole sectors of Russian industry, if Moscow interferes with the vote.

In a statement, President Barack Obama did not pre-empt the results by naming Poroshenko, but he praised Ukrainians for turning out to vote despite violence and said the United States looked forward to working with Ukraine’s new president.

“This election is another important step forward in the efforts of the Ukrainian government to unify the country and reach out to all of its citizens to ensure their concerns are addressed and aspirations met,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “Whether Poroshenko manages to unite a divided country will depend above all on how the constitutional process will now be approached, what kind of messages will be sent to the eastern region … also to the Russian-speakers.”

Constitutional changes since Yanukovich’s fall will leave Poroshenko with less power than his predecessor once he is formally sworn in, probably not before next month. He will share power with Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk and parliament.

Poroshenko, who has worked closely with the liberal Yatseniuk in recent months, said there should be a parliamentary election before the end of the year.

Polls closed

Some Ukrainians in the east who tried to vote complained about being denied their democratic right.

“What kind of polls are these? Things are bad,” said pensioner Grigory Nikitayich, 72, in Donetsk.

Ukrainian soldier Ivan Satsuk, manning a roadblock near the eastern port of Mariupol, said he would not have voted for Poroshenko if he had been able to cast a ballot amid the violence but he was pleased the election had ended so quickly.

“I will support him now,” he said. “What we need soonest is legitimate authorities with a strong mandate to start dealing decisively with all this separatist mess.”

At the headquarters of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the pro-Russian separatist movement that declared independence after a makeshift referendum two weeks ago, a woman named Klavdia was dismissive of Kiev’s attempts to hold an election.

“We don’t pay attention to other countries’ elections, really,” she said. “We just had a big laugh of them today — not a single polling station was opened in Donetsk today because their election officials didn’t show up.”

Yatseniuk hailed Sunday’s election as a victory for democracy and the rule of law despite the disruption in the east. “Efforts by the Russian Federation and the terrorists it finances to derail the elections are doomed to failure. We will have a legitimate head of state,” he said before polls closed.

Moscow denies financing or training the separatists, denials that Western countries dismiss as absurd.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like