Ukraine election: Comic leads presidential contest – exit ballot

Volodymyr Zelenskiy casts his vote in Kiev, 31 MarchPicture copyright

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy solid his vote in Kiev

A comic with no political expertise has received probably the most votes within the first spherical of Ukraine’s presidential elections, in response to exit polls.

They are saying Volodymyr Zelenskiy – who performed the president on TV – acquired 30.four% of the vote, with present chief Petro Poroshenko second on 17.eight%.

The 2 – who’ve expressed largely pro-EU opinions – are set to participate in a run-off election subsequent month.

Ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko seems to have been eradicated on a projected 14.2%.

“I am very pleased however this isn’t the ultimate outcome,” Mr Zelenskiy informed the BBC’s Jonah Fisher minutes after the exit polls had been introduced.

Mr Poroshenko described his forecast second place as a “harsh lesson”.

The inside ministry says tons of of electoral violations have been reported, however international observers say the vote gave the impression to be primarily clean.

A complete of 39 candidates had been on the poll paper, and with none receiving 50% the highest two will go ahead to the run-off on 21 April.

The Ukrainian president has vital powers over safety, defence and international coverage and the ex-Soviet republic’s system is described as semi-presidential.

Who’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy?

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Media captionThe comic who might be president

Mr Zelenskiy is aiming to show his satirical TV present Servant of the Individuals – by which he portrays an strange citizen who turns into president after combating corruption – into actuality.

He has torn up the rulebook for election campaigning, staging no rallies and few interviews, and seems to haven’t any sturdy political opinions aside from a want to be new and completely different.

His in depth use of social media appealed to youthful voters.

Mr Zelenskiy’s readiness to talk each Russian and Ukrainian, at a time when language rights are a massively delicate subject, gained him help in Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking east.

How did we get right here?

Mr Poroshenko, a chocolate magnate and one in all Ukraine’s wealthiest folks, was elected in a snap vote after former pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was toppled within the February 2014 Maidan Revolution, which was adopted by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and a Russian-backed insurgency within the east.

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Media captionUkraine’s presidential elections: 5 issues to know

The subsequent president will inherit a deadlocked battle between Ukrainian troops and the japanese separatists, whereas Ukraine strives to fulfil EU necessities for nearer financial ties.

The EU says that about 12% of Ukraine’s 44 million persons are disenfranchised, largely those that stay in Russia and in Crimea, which Russia annexed in March 2014.

Mr Poroshenko aimed to attraction to conservative Ukrainians by his slogan “Military, Language, Religion”.

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Petro Poroshenko voted together with his spouse

He says his backing for the navy has helped maintain the separatists in examine. He additionally negotiated an Affiliation Settlement with the EU, together with visa-free journey for Ukrainians. Throughout his tenure the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has turn into impartial of Russian management.

Nevertheless his marketing campaign has been dogged by corruption allegations, together with a scandal over defence procurement, which erupted final month.

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Yulia Tymoshenko stood for president twice earlier than

Yulia Tymoshenko served as prime minister and ran for president in 2010 and 2014. She performed a number one function within the 2004 Orange Revolution, Ukraine’s first large push to ally itself with the EU.

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