Fistfights, tear gas, sobs as Kiev tallies vote

Nov 02, 2012, 9:46 AM EDT
Electoral commission members count ballots in Kiev on October 28, 2012, after national parliamentary elections.
AFP/Getty Images

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Nearly a week after Ukraine's parliamentary election, officials are still scrambling to tally votes in a key Kiev district, in what the opposition says is a clear example of widespread vote rigging by the ruling party.

Western observers have denounced as unfair Sunday's election, during which President Viktor Yanukovych's party maintained its grip on power.

The opposition claims its candidate in Kiev's precinct No. 223 defeated the pro-government one, but that election officials are trying to inflate the government loyalist's tally and under count opposition votes.

Election officials continued vote-tallying Friday amid shouts by the opposition and police fending off alleged pro-government thugs. In previous days, fistfights have occurred there and tear gas has been used.

Similar incidents have occurred in other regions, prompting the opposition to threaten street protests.