Ukraine pauses before decisive parliamentary vote soured by specter of separatist conflict



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MARIUPOL, Ukraine — Ukraine is bracing for decisive parliamentary elections against the backdrop of unrest in regions roiled by conflict between government troops and pro-Russian separatist forces.

Campaigning material was taken down across the country Saturday in line with election laws ahead of a vote that pollsters say will be dominated by President Petro Poroshenko's party.

In areas near the main focus of fighting, the mood is subdued and turnout will likely be low.

Almost 36 million people have been registered to vote. Poll officials say 15 out of 32 district election commissions in the east will not be operating over security concerns.

Parliament will change completely in composition 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.

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