Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, center, reacts with his team as they look at the election results at his party's headquarters after a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Zelenskiy's party took the largest share of votes in the country's snap parliamentary election, an exit poll showed Sunday. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukrainian leader's party heading for parliamentary majority

July 22, 2019 - 4:00 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Early results show that the Ukrainian president's party won a majority of seats in Sunday's parliamentary election.

With nearly a half of the ballots counted Monday, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party, Servant of the People, is projected to win 42.4% of the vote. In addition, results from single-mandate constituencies also show Zelenskiy's allies winning in at least 115 of the 199 districts, meaning that Servant of the People is projected to win an outright majority of seats at the Supreme Rada.

Of the 424 seats in the Ukrainian parliament, 225 lawmakers are elected on party rolls and 199 in single-mandate districts.

If confirmed, Servant of the People will become the first party in Ukraine's modern history to form an absolute parliamentary majority.

Four other parties were seen clearing the 5% threshold necessary to get party-list seats, according to early results.

A party led by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest associates, Ukrainian tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, was in second place with 13% of the vote. It was followed by the European Solidarity party of former President Petro Poroshenko, whom Zelenskiy defeated in a landslide in the country's spring presidential election.

Zelenskiy, a comedian before entering politics, called the election three months ahead of schedule because the parliament was dominated by his opponents. He said a majority at the Rada would support his promised fight against corruption as well as other reforms.

Zelenskiy took office in May and soon founded the Servant of the People party which got its name from the television comedy in which he played a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president.

Zelenskiy took office in May and soon founded the Servant of the People party which got its name after the television comedy in which he played a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president.

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