Ukraine's parliamentary election kicks off
Updated: 2014-10-26 16:25
A man casts a ballot during a parliamentary election at a polling station in the town of Volnovakha in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, October 26, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
KIEV - Millions of Ukrainians on Sunday began to cast their votes in the early parliamentary elections with 29 political parties and 1,401 candidates contesting in the polls.
All the 32,086 polling stations across the country were opened at 8 am local time (0600 GMT) and will be closed at 8 pm (1800 GMT). Some 36.5 million voters are expected to participate.
A total of 437,364 Ukrainians who live abroad have registered as overseas electors to cast their votes at 112 overseas polling stations in 72 countries.
Crimean residents who consider themselves as Ukrainians have the opportunity to vote in calm Ukrainian regions.
The polling stations have been also set up in the government-controlled areas in the eastern Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where confrontation between government troops and independence-seeking insurgents is underway.
Extra security measures have been taken in the two Ukraine's restive regions, where 4,000 police forces are additionally mobilized. A total of 82,000 police officers are deployed across the country to guarantee public order during electoral process.
The eighth Ukrainian parliamentary elections are conducted under a mixed system, with 225 members of parliament elected on party lists and the remaining 225 in single-seat constituencies.
To enter the country's supreme legislative body, political parties should receive no less than five percent of the vote.
The voting is monitored by 2,321 international and some 340,000 local observers registered to supervise the process.
The results of the exit poll are scheduled to be announced at the end of the election, with official results to be released within 15 days after the voting.
According to the Central Election Commission, the election will cost Ukraine around $75.7 million.
The announcement about early parliamentary election in Ukraine came on Aug. 26, when President Petro Poroshenko dissolved the previous parliament, claiming that the country's legislative body should be purified.