UKRAINE'S COMMUNISTS EMERGE AS ELECTION WINNERS. The Communist Party of Ukraine and its left-wing allies will form the biggest bloc in the new parliament, AFP reported on 1 April. The Supreme Council is to consist of 225 deputies with party-list mandates and another 225 with single mandates. With 99 percent of the vote for party-list mandates counted, the Communists won 84 seats, the Socialist/Peasants' Bloc 29, and the Progressive Socialist Party 14. Following the count of 83.5 percent of ballots for single-mandate seats, the Communists had gained 37 seats and the other left-wing parties 10, according to the Central Electoral Commission. JM

KUCHMA VOWS TO CONTINUE REFORMS DESPITE COMMUNIST VICTORY. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has pledged to continue with the country's reform program, despite large gains by the Communists and their left-wing allies, AFP reported on 31 March. He commented that "despite the election results there will be no going back. Ukraine will pursue its reformist policy while cooperating with the parliament." But he also admitted that the results would be "a cold shower for some politicians." JM