Ukraine braced for decisive parliamentary elections Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014 against the backdrop of unrest in eastern regions roiled by conflict between government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces.
Campaigning material was being taken down across the country in line with election laws ahead of a vote Sunday that pollsters say will be dominated by President Petro Poroshenko's party.
Parliament is seen changing composition completely with the former ruling party of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted by a street revolt in February, set to disappear from the legislature.
Speaking in a televised address Saturday, Poroshenko said the election would lead to a "full reset of power" and enable the formation of a reform-minded legislature.
"It is very difficult to press on the gas pedal with reforms when hundreds of deputies are simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion slamming the brakes," he said.
Parties expected to enter into parliament all broadly share a pro-Western line and are united in their calls to tackle rampant corruption and undertake root-and-branch economic reforms. Skepticism remains strong toward a political elite that many Ukrainians continue to see as self-serving.
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Opening text from the AP Big Story, Ukraine Pauses Before Decisive Vote, by Nataliya Vasilyeva.
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