Ukraine polls marred by cancelled vote in key port

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pays respect to a Ukrainian flag found in a war zone in the eastern part of the country close to the remains of fallen soldiers in Kiev on October 14, 2015Western-backed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s fragile ruling coalition faced a major survival test Sunday in local elections that were instantly marred as voting was cancelled in the strategic port of Mariupol. Polling stations opened across all Kiev-administered regions accept for Mariupol — a southeastern city of nearly 500,000 that provides a land bridge between pro-Moscow rebel regions and Ukraine’s Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula. A statement from Poroshenko’s Solidarity party said the polls “were aborted… due to the improper preparation of election ballots, the absence of control over their printing and number, and reliable storage”.

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