Ukraine goes to the polls again

Ukrainians in 47 constituencies voted yesterday in a second round of legislative elections, the first since the country became independent in 1991, AFP reports from Kiev. Election run-offs are to be held in 354 other constituencies on Sunday.

Attention focused on the industrial city of Kharkov, near the Russian border, after voters in the eastern industrial regions backed Communists and socialists pushing for a renaissance of the old Soviet Union in the first round on 27 March. A quarter of candidates standing in the second round of voting are pro-Communist. National Democrats seeking closer ties with the West swept the first round in western Ukraine.