Ukraine president's party set for big win in parliamentary polls

22 Juillet, 2019, 09:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party is expected to win up to half of the vote

Prior to his election, Zelensky, 41, was known for his comic television portrayal of a schoolteacher who becomes president.

Ukraine is to hold a parliamentary election on Sunday in which President Volodymyr Zelensky's party is expected to win the largest share of votes.

A party led by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest associates, tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, is polling in second place with about 10 per cent, followed by the European Solidarity party of former President Petro Poroshenko, whom Zelenskiy defeated in a landslide in the country's spring presidential election.

Without a majority, Zelensky will need to form a coalition and has indicated a preference for another new political force, the Golos (Voice) party of rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk.

"We invite Mr. Vakarchuk to talk", Zelenskiy said at his election headquarters after the exit poll results were released.

"I think that all legislative initiatives will be implemented".

Exit polls in Ukraine indicate that the party of the country's comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has won a snap election aimed at strengthening its coalition only months after coming to power.

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Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party is expected to garner support from a little more than half of those who meant to vote.

A senior member of the Voice party, which came fifth in the poll with 6%, separately said it was open to an alliance with new political forces provided they were not backed by oligarchs.

The election gives Zelenskiy a firmer grip on a country at the centre of a dispute between Moscow and the West, arising from Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014 and support for separatists in an armed revolt in the east.

The new government will also need to implement reforms agreed with worldwide donors to secure billions of dollars of new loans to keep the economy stable.

Zelenskiy will seek a new aid-for-reforms programme with the International Monetary Fund and has promised crowd-pleasing anti-corruption measures, such as stripping lawmakers of immunity from prosecution.

In one of his first acts after taking office, Zelenskiy announced he was moving out of the presidential administration building as a symbolic break with the old way of doing politics, just as his fictional president did in the TV series.

His rise has come at the expense of numerous parties that came to power following the 2014 Maidan street protests that ousted the Kremlin-backed former President Viktor Yanukovich.

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