Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, reacts as he responds to a journalist question during a press conference, after the presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, March. 31, 2019. Exit polls indicated Zelenskiy would get about 30 percent of the vote, far short of the absolute majority needed to win the first round. Most exit polls said incumbent Petro Poroshenko received the second-biggest support, which would put him and Zelenskiy in a runoff on April 21. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Comedian leads Ukraine presidential vote, runoff in 3 weeks

April 01, 2019 - 2:21 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Early results in Ukraine's presidential election show a comedian with no political experience maintaining his strong lead against the incumbent president in the first round, setting the stage for a runoff in three weeks.

With just over half of the polling stations counted Monday, Volodomyr Zelenskiy had 30.2 percent of the vote, while incumbent President Petro Poroshenko was a distant second with about 16.6 percent. Ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko trailed behind with 13 percent. The results were in sync with a top exit poll.

The strong showing of Zelenskiy reflects the public longing for a fresh leader who has no links to the corruption-ridden Ukrainian political elite and can offer a new approach to settling the grinding conflict with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()