xi's moments
Home | Europe

Ukrainian President Zelensky wins snap election

By Jonathan Powell in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-07-22 23:25

People look at the screen with the results of votes counting on parliamentary elections, set up in front of Central Election Commission in Kyiv, Ukraine, July 22, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

The party of Ukrainian president - and ex-comedian - Volodymyr Zelensky, was projected to win a snap parliamentary election, consolidating his political power with a record share of the vote.

Official results show his Servant of the People party will have a majority in Parliament – but may still need a coalition partner to form a government.

The 41-year-old became Ukraine's youngest ever post-Soviet leader when he took office two months ago and has promised to stamp out corruption, implement radical reforms and end a separatist war.

His newly created Servant of the People took around 42 percent of the weekend vote, with 50 percent of votes counted.

Media projections on Monday showed this puts the party on track to pick up more than half of the Parliament's 450 seats, the best showing by any party in Ukraine's post-1991 history.

Only 424 of the 450 seats are up for grabs, with the remaining seats representing Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in a military intervention in 2014.

Since he triumphed in April's presidential poll, Zelensky has been unable to appoint the ministers he wants.The election result is expected to give Zelensky a greater mandate for reform, sweeping aside the old guard and bringing new faces to Parliament.

Zelensky was known for his comic role on television as a teacher who wins the heart of the nation and becomes president after his expletive-laden rant about politics goes viral.

After shunning rallies and speeches and openly admitting he did not have any strong political views, he scored a landslide victory in April and unseated Petro Poroshenko, a political heavyweight.

Early results from the weekend poll suggested Zelensky would have to form a coalition, with the president indicating a preference for another new political force, the Golos (Voice) party of rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk.

The singer's party, also packed with young professionals such as Zelensky's, made it to Parliament with six percent of the vote, according to the latest results.

Addressing supporters after an initial exit poll was announced on Sunday evening, Zelensky said he would be happy to cooperate with the Voice party, for talks about forming a governing coalition in Parliament.

A senior member of the Voice party said it was open to an alliance with new political forces provided they were not backed by oligarchs.

Zelensky said his primary goals were to bring peace and tackle corruption.

"Our main priorities – and I repeat this for every Ukrainian – are to end the war, return our prisoners and defeat the corruption that persists in Ukraine," he said at his party's election headquarters.

He also said he was looking for a "new face and a specialist in the economy" to become the next prime minister.

Four other parties — including one openly supported by the Kremlin — passed the five percent threshold to enter the assembly, the results showed.

The pro-Moscow Opposition Platform-For Life came second in the vote with 12.8 percent.

Former president Poroshenko's European Solidarity party and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party Batkivshyna (Fatherland) also entered Parliament with 8.6 and 8 percent of the vote respectively, results showed.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349