Comedian Set To Become Next Ukrainian President, Exit Polls Suggest

Ukraine's presidential exit polls show comedian Zelenskiy in the lead

"Anything is possible!" he said as quoted by ABC News.

After weeks of bickering that saw each candidate put up his own stage, president Petro Poroshenko came over to television star Volodymyr Zelenskiy's end, shook hands and agreed to stand on the same stage. A survey by the Rating pollster this week showed Zelensky winning 73 percent of the vote against 27 percent for Poroshenko.

Zelenskiy is known for his role on the Ukrainian TV series Servant of the People.

"In Ukrainian politics, what they say and what they do [are] not always the same", Dmitry Razumkov, Zelenskiy's campaign chief, told reporters on April 21. "It's time to change that". Zelenskiy, however, has largely stayed away from the campaign trail and eschewed interviews. He campaigned mainly on Instagram, where he has 3.7 million followers.

He continued to perform stand-up comedy during the election and was fined by police for violating Ukrainian voting regulations by displaying his ballot to cameras while voting on Sunday.

The candidates engaged in fierce mutual criticism and jockeyed for dominance.

He kneeled before the crowd in theatrical gesture, insisting that he was eager to do the same before every mother who lost her son in the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The EU also has sanctions in force against Russian Federation over its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Despite mounting uncertainty Ukrainians are fed up with corruption, poverty, and the war that has claimed some 13,000 lives over the past five years.

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. A visa-free deal with the European Union spawned the exodus of millions of skilled workers for better living conditions elsewhere in Europe. "Well, at first it can be a bit amusing and then it might hurt afterwards".

Meanwhile, Zelenskiy remains something of an unknown quantity and faces scrutiny over his ties to a powerful oligarch called Ihor Kolomoisky, whose TV channel broadcasts his shows.

Ukrainians looked to the future with hope and anxiety after Zelensky took 73 percent of the vote, according to almost complete official results.

Many voters in this nation of 42 million are struggling to survive on meager wages and soaring utility bills. "The main thing is that Ukrainian people recognize the", Matviyenko said. "We have had enough of them getting mired in corruption and filling their pockets and treating us as fools".

Mr. Zelenskiy has pledged to keep Ukraine on a pro-Western course, but has sounded less emphatic than Poroshenko about possible plans for the country of 42 million people to one day join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

He has focused heavily on corruption allegations that have dogged Poroshenko and showered the president with questions about his assets during Friday's debate.

Zelensky said he would not resort to force to take back Crimea, which was annexed by Russian Federation in 2014. He also grilled the president over Ukraine's having turned into the "poorest country in Europe", with low pensions, deteriorating infrastructure and corrupt officials from his inner circle avoiding responsibility.

Poroshenko, 53, has also sought to portray Zelenskiy as a buffoonish populist whose incompetence would leave Ukraine vulnerable to Russian Federation. "But Zelenskiy will win because he's young and new".

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