"The Party of Regions won by the number of points, but the opposition scored a moral victory," said Kiev-based political expert Volodymyr Fesenko. "The monopoly on power will be harder to maintain."
Experts say while Yanukovych's supporters seem poised to retain their parliament majority, they will fall short of winning the two-thirds of seats needed to change the constitution.
Political analyst Vadym Karasyov said the new parliament will be "turbulent" and the opposition will seek to block some of the undemocratic initiatives the president may launch.
"Yanukovych can get a simple majority, but it doesn't mean anything, because without a constitutional majority in parliament he cannot radically change anything," Karasyov said.
The showing of the far-right Svoboda party, which had been expected to barely pass the 5 percent vote threshold, emerged as a big surprise.
Svoboda, which campaigns for the preservation of the Ukrainian language and culture and strongly attacks Yanukovych, is also known for xenophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric. Analysts said the party's popularity was due more to many Ukrainians' anger with the ruling party than vehemently nationalist views.
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