International observers delivered scathing criticism on Monday of Ukraine’s parliamentary election, saying the vote was heavily tilted in favor of President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions through the abuse of government resources, the dominance of media coverage and the jailing of two prominent opposition leaders. International observers on Monday said that the vote was heavily tilted in favor of President Viktor F. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions. “Considering the abuse of power, and the excessive role of money in this election, democratic progress appears to have reversed in Ukraine,” said Walburga Habsburg Douglas, a Swedish lawmaker who led an observer mission for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
With more than 80 percent of Sunday’s ballots counted by Monday night, the results showed the Party of Regions well ahead of its opponents, with about 32 percent of the vote.
The Fatherland party of the jailed former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, was second, with about 24 percent. The results showed the Communist Party with about 14 percent; Punch, a party led by the boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, with 13 percent; and the ultranationalist Freedom party with 9 percent.
The vote was closely watched as a gauge of developing democracy in this former Soviet republic of 45 million, once viewed as being on a steady track toward integration with Europe after the Orange Revolution of 2004.
Framed in that context, the verdict by international observers was devastating.