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Ukrainian TV Comic Scores Landslide Win to Clinch Presidency

Ukrainian TV Comic Scores Landslide Win to Clinch Presidency

Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won the nation's presidential race by a confirmed landslide, according to exit poll results.

"Allow us to express our appreciation for the strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law that the people of Ukraine have demonstrated throughout the electoral process", Juncker and Tusk said.

"If this parliament has at least some sense of conscience, it is necessary to give an opportunity to form a new government, which will have totally different objectives and tasks", she added.

Mr Poroshenko was a billionaire confectionery magnate and former foreign minister before he took office in 2014 after massive street protests drove his Russia-friendly predecessor to flee the country.

"I have grown up under the old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies, and corruption, " said Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old computer programmer who voted for Zelenskiy.

Zelensky held 73 percent of the vote with 90 percent of ballots counted, compared to incumbent Petro Poroshenko who took 25 percent, NBC News reported.

Mr Zelenskiy easily won the first round of voting albeit without a majority.

Moscow respects the choice of Ukrainians, Peskov said, while adding that the legitimacy of the vote was put into question by the fact that three million eligible Ukrainians living in Russian Federation had been deprived of an opportunity to cast their ballots.

His victory means a new strategy for Ukraine when dealing with its neighbor Russian Federation.

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Russian Federation has taken a wait-and-watch approach to Zelensky, with the Kremlin saying it was too early for President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him.

Mr Zelensky, 41, is best known for starring in a political satirical drama in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president.

Declaring victory at his campaign headquarters to emotional supporters, Zelenskiy promised he would not let the Ukrainian people down.

Zelensky, whose only previous political role was playing the president in a TV show, trounced incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Sunday's election in a stinging rebuke to the establishment fueled by anger over war and social injustice.

Kyiv's pursuit of closer ties with the West and the European Union was the trigger for Ukraine's ongoing conflict with Russia, which developed into a war along the border that culminated with the controversial annexation of the Crimean peninsula, as well as Russian incursion into Ukraine's separatist eastern provinces in 2014.

Lying on a geopolitical fault line between Russian Federation and the European Union, Ukraine has taken on a global significance since protesters kicked out Kremlin-backed Viktor Yanukovych in 2014 and Russian Federation annexed Crimea.

A political novice, 41-year-old Zelenskiy will also have to face off against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ruled his country for almost two decades, if he wants to mend relations with Ukraine's neighbour.

I am leaving the office, but I want to highlight that I am not leaving politics. This result is based on 80 percent of the votes counted, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission has announced.

Critics accuse the president-elect of having an excessively close relationship with powerful oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, whose TV channel broadcasts his comedy shows.


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