Comedian Zelensky celebrates win over Poroshenko in Ukraine presidential vote
The high turnout in the second round of the presidential election in Ukraine reveals an enthusiasm for the promise of change brought by Zelensky. He’s leading with some 72-74 percent of the votes, according to the latest exit poll figures. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko secured only around 25-28 percent of votes, suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Zelensky.
Zelensky’s team celebrated victory as soon as the first official exit polls were out, even reciting a rocket launch-like countdown. The soon-to-be president didn’t waste many words, simply thanking his parents, his wife, his team and Ukrainian citizens who voted for him. He also jokingly thanked the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) for “keeping him in shape” during the campaign.
ZELESNKIY is in the building. In a life-imitates-art moment he enters to the theme music for his Servant of the People show in which he plays a common man who becomes president. In two minutes he may find he’s won a real presidential election. pic.twitter.com/bmZyYltbza— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 21, 2019
In what could be a sign of Zelenskiy's media strategy, the "briefing and questions" promised with journalists was in fact him saying a few phrases + zero questions, and he then went off to speak in private to 1+1, the channel his shows are on which is run by Kolomoyskiy.— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) April 21, 2019
In contrast, Poroshenko held a lengthy speech and a Q&A, vowing to remain active in politics and to protect the “achievements” of his presidential term, including sanctions against Russia. Yet he accepted the defeat and said the election was fair.
It wasn’t all graceful, though. Poroshenko also said Privatbank will be used as payment to Kolomoisky for election support. And that there will be a celebration in the Kremlin of Ukraine’s election results— Katya Gorchinskaya (@kgorchinskaya) April 21, 2019
Zelensky got himself into trouble with the law on Sunday when he showed his ballot to the cameras with a ticker next to his name. This violated Ukraine’s rules on secrecy of elections. Police arrived to Zelensky’s campaign HQ to issue a fine for the deed, but his team said it was no big deal.
A professional comedy actor, scriptwriter and producer, Zelensky comes to power in Ukraine on the wave of disillusionment with Poroshenko’s failure to tackle corruption and a sharp decrease of living standards in Ukraine over the past five years. His campaign was built on a promise to break down a corrupt system of oligarchic power in Kiev. Part of his appeal was rooted in a character he played in a TV series – a school teacher who accidentally became the head of state and chose to act as a servant of the people.Also on rt.com Weary Ukrainian voters face ultimate choice between comedian & politician
Zelensky’s campaign apparently outmaneuvered that of Poroshenko’s, culminating in the comedian’s idea to turn the public debate into a massive show hosted at a Kiev stadium. The Friday debate sealed Zelensky’s lead, despite the incumbent’s attempts to portray his opponent as a Moscow stooge and a puppet of oligarch Igor Kolomoysky.Also on rt.com ‘I’m not your opponent, I’m your sentence!’ Ukraine presidential hopefuls trade jabs in last debate
By securing the presidential office Zelensky’s political party – called ‘Servant of the People’ after his own TV show – gets a head start in the upcoming parliamentary election, scheduled for October. He will need to secure a support base in the legislature to be able to implement his policies, and a failure to do so may easily undermine his landslide win.
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