Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has won a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election, exit polls suggest. The polls give the political newcomer, who dominated the first round of voting three weeks ago, more than 70% support.
Mr Zelensky, 41, challenged incumbent president Petro Poroshenko who has admitted defeat.
The apparent result is being seen as a huge blow to Mr Poroshenko and a rejection of Ukraine’s establishment. “I will never let you down,” Mr Zelensky told celebrating supporters on Sunday. “I’m not yet officially the president,” he added. “But as a citizen of Ukraine I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union: Look at us. Anything is possible!”
Mr Zelensky is best known for starring in a satirical television series in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president. If the poll is right, Zelenskiy, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, will now take over the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.
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25 August, 2019