- U.S. ambassador to Ukraine praises outcome of election
- Ukraine's President says voters "irreversibly supported" a "path to Europe
- Poroshenko based comments on exit polls; final results due later in the week
- Over 6,000 candidates ran for 438 seats in the Parliament
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko hailed exit poll results of Sunday's parliamentary elections, saying the projected outcome gives "a powerful and irreversible backing to Ukraine's path to Europe."
Final poll results are expected later in the week.
In a statement published on the Ukrainian presidential website, Poroshenko said "more than three quarters of voters powerfully and irreversibly supported the course towards Europe."
Poroskenko said he expects a new coalition to be formed soon and that the majority of voters favor his peace plan and want a political solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Daniel Baer said in a joint statement that they observed "democracy in action" as Ukrainians cast their ballots in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
"Today's vote is yet another step in Ukraine's democratic journey," the statement said.
No vote in separatist-controlled Ukraine
Parliamentary elections were called last winter after protests in Kiev caused former President Victor Yanukovych to flee the country, along with some members of Parliament. Poroshenko was elected president in May.
Ukrainian citizens in Russia-annexed Crimea and the eastern areas controlled by pro-Russian separatists did not participate in the elections because of ongoing violence.
Over 6,000 candidates ran for 438 seats in the Parliament. Turnout was a bit over 50%, according to the Central Election Commission.
The Interior Ministry registered 330 violations over the course of the voting, according to the official website. Two incidents involved people bringing in weapons to the polling stations,
Three major exit polls showed seven parties getting into the Parliament, mostly pro-European, with President's Block of Petro Poroshenko leading with about 23%.