Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada in session (file photo) (Ukrinform)
April 4, 2006 -- Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, today rejected demands for a complete recount of votes in the March 26 parliamentary elections.
The measure was supported by a number of smaller parties that failed to secure seats in parliament. It received 198 votes in favor, falling below the 226 votes it needed to pass.
The parties that did secure seats in parliament said they would support recounts only in individual precincts, based on court orders.
International observers have praised the elections as free and fair, and President Viktor Yushchenko has declared the vote Ukraine's most democratic ever.
If parliament had passed the measure, the decision would not have been binding, but would have been seen as an embarrassment for Yushchenko.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside parliament today to demand a recount.
The pro-Russian Party of Regions led by Viktor Yanukovych won the most votes in the election, followed by the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc, and Yushchenko's own Our Ukraine bloc.
(Interfax-Ukraine, Ukrayinska pravda, AP)
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