Comedian-turned-candidate Zelensky wins Ukraine presidency by landslide
Comedian-turned-candidate Zelensky wins Ukraine presidency by landslide
Ukraine Holds Runoff Presidential Election
22 April, 2019, 23:27
The European Union is congratulating Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his election as Ukrainian president, pledging strong support for his plans to reform the country and fight corruption.
The Central Election Commission says Monday that Zelenskiy has won 73% of the vote while the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko got just 24% support with more than 96% of the ballots counted.
He is best known for starring in Ukrainian television series Servant of the People.
Zelensky, whose victory fits a pattern of anti-establishment figures unseating incumbents in Europe and further afield, has promised to end the war in the eastern Donbass region and to root out corruption amid widespread dismay over rising prices and sliding living standards.
Speaking at his campaign headquarters in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, moments after the scale of his apparent victory became clear, Zelensky took a jab at Russian Federation and other former Soviet lands that have turned elections into empty rituals that merely confirm their authoritarian leaders' continued rule.
"I can tell all post-Soviet countries: 'Look at us!" Poroshenko apparently missed Zelensky's promise to move the presidential administration from Bankovaya Street - or he's already planning to bring it back.
Although Mr Zelenskiy was criticised for a vague campaign platform and never holding public office, voters appeared to cast aside those concerns in favour of a thorough sweep of Ukraine's political leadership.
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky at his campaign headquarters in Kiev on April 21, 2019, after the announcement of the first exit poll predicting he won the second round of Ukraine's presidential election.
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It is well-known comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who, according to preliminary results, convincingly defeated Petro Poroshenko.
Polls gave Mr Poroshenko, who has been in power since 2014, 25 per cent of the vote.
Poroshenko said on social media he thought Zelenskiy's win would spark celebrations in the Kremlin.
"An actor who routinely plays fictional characters on national television, Zelenskiy will take control of a country seeking at once to strengthen ties to the west and mollify it's closest neighbors, even as it faces with the reality of losing territories in the Crimea to a 2014 popular vote". O'Hagan says he inherited a hard situation in 2014 and implemented many reforms but has not convinced voters that he is serious about tackling corruption.
The conflict has killed more than 13,000 people.
The incumbent campaigned on the same promise he made when he was elected in 2014 - to lead the nation of 42 million into the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Mr Poroshenko's five years in office saw the creation of a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church independent of Moscow's church, a schism he championed.
With almost all the votes counted in Ukraine, TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy is projected to win the country's presidential runoff vote in a landslide.
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