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Parties press for recount in Ukraine

KIEV — Ukraine’s opposition parties on Tuesday pressed for a recount of votes in more than a dozen districts in a disputed parliamentary vote, but they appeared unable to mobilize mass protests to step up pressure on authorities.

Western observers described the Oct. 28 parliamentary election as unfair, saying the imprisonment of President Viktor Yanukovych’s arch-foe, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, and nontransparent vote tallying were steps back for democracy. The opposition accuses the authorities of falsifying election results in 13 districts across the country, where they believe their candidates had won, in order to secure a firm parliamentary majority for Yanukovych’s loyalists.

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The current Parliament passed a nonbinding motion on Tuesday calling for a new vote in five of those races, but opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk dismissed that proposal as unfair, saying opposition politicians had clearly won those races.

‘‘We are demanding that the Central Election Commission tally all the votes and declare our candidates the winners,’’ Yatsenyuk told a thin crowd of supporters rallying outside the Central Election Commission building in central Kiev. ‘‘They are not going to take our victory away from us!’’

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov denounced the opposition’s attempt to ‘‘destabilize’’ the situation and expressed confidence that the new Parliament will begin work in mid-December, as planned.

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