Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pro-Kuchma Party Says It's Poised to Sweep Parliament

KIEV -- The leader of Ukraine's main pro-presidential bloc said Monday that his party, For United Ukraine, was bound to form a majority in the country's next parliament and vowed to maintain stability.

Volodymyr Lytvyn, party leader and head of the presidential administration, said his party would speed up the adoption of a new tax code, but most analysts say pro-President Leonid Kuchma parties would do little in parliament.

"Speaking about the future of the bloc, I can say only one thing -- it is clear that the bloc will have the largest number of seats in parliament," Lytvyn said in an interview.

"Now the bloc has the necessary skilled staff, which will allow us to implement the necessary and required tasks for another 10 years of Ukraine's development," he said.

More than 30 political parties and alliances are contesting the election on Sunday, the third since Ukraine's independence in 1991, but only eight or nine parties are expected to overcome the 4 percent hurdle and get into parliament.

Our Ukraine, a coalition of nationalist and right-wing forces led by reformist former Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko, is leading opinion polls with more than 20 percent of the vote. The Communist Party is running second with about 15 percent.

According to the polls, For United Ukraine, which includes Prime Minister Anatoly Kinakh, four other government ministers and several regional leaders, should get about 7 percent.

Lytvyn said his bloc's popularity was increasing closer to the poll.

He denied widespread violations during campaigning, saying concerns by the West over media freedoms were unwarranted. Western officials say pro-presidential parties have had too much influence over election committees.

"Talk about undemocratic elections and falsifications humiliates our people," Lytvyn said.

"Parties and blocs are organizing the election, their representatives make up electoral commissions. The authorities, actually, have not taken part in it."