Ruling party leads Ukraine parliament vote

Published:

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Preliminary official results show Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's party headed for victory in parliamentary elections tainted by the jailing of the country's top opposition leader.

Pro-Western opposition parties came in strong in the proportional portion of the vote, but Yanukovych's Party of Regions appeared set to retain its parliamentary majority as its candidates were leading in individual races across the country.

With former Premier Yulia Tymoshenko in jail and widespread fears of election fraud, the West is paying close attention to the vote in the strategic ex-Soviet state. International observers were to issue their verdict on the fairness of the vote later Monday. An election deemed undemocratic could freeze Kiev's ties with the West and push Ukraine toward Moscow.