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Former Prime Minister Lauds Ukraine's 'First Honest Elections in Fifteen Years'

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told the VOA that Sunday's parliamentary elections represented the "first honest elections held in 15 years of independence"

Washington, D.C. March 29, 2006 - Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told the Voice of America's daily live Russian radio call-in show today that Sunday's parliamentary elections were significant because they represented the "first honest elections held in 15 years of (Ukrainian) independence."

The opposition party of Viktor Yanukovych and his allies won the most seats on Sunday, claiming almost one-third, followed by Tymoshenko's party, with President Viktor Yushchenko's party finishing third in the voting. While the leaders of Ukraine's Orange Revolution claimed more votes overall, no single party has enough seats to form a new government on its own.

Tymoshenko, who served as prime minister until being dismissed by President Yushchenko last year, said the elections were a sign that people have become "energized by politics since the Orange Revolution." She added, "The people have chosen and that choice was for the ideas of the Orange Revolution." The former prime minister also expressed her hope that Ukraine becomes an example for all former Soviet countries that wish to become democratic societies.

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