Comedian, incumbent to face off in election
KIEV, Ukraine – Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky finished first in Ukraine’s presidential election Sunday and now will face incumbent President
Petro Poroshenko in a runoff April 21.
“This is just the first step towards the big victory,” Zelensky said in Kiev.
Poroshenko trailed by about 10 percentage points, according to exit polls. He said in a speech that “there are many candidates, but only one president.”
Zelensky appeared to mock that statement, telling supporters: “There are many exit polls, but only one winner.”
Zelensky received about 30 percent of the votes. Poroshenko got about 17 percent and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko about 14 percent, according to exit polls.
Zelensky, a dark horse candidate who led in opinion surveys ahead of the election, distinguished himself in opposition to a political establishment that has struggled with corruption.
“Today a new life starts, without corruption,” Zelensky, 41, said in Kiev. Zelensky, who plays a fictional president on a popular TV show, has never held political office.
Meanwhile Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said that more than 1,600 claims of electoral law violations had been made.
– Tribune News