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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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The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

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