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Ukraine presidential vote won by comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy in landslide



Volodymyr Zelenskiy got the last laugh

The comedian and actor, who played his country's president on television, is now set to take on the job in real life after winning Ukraine's presidential runoff vote in a landslide, according to The Central Election Commission said Zelenskiy won 73 percent of the vote, while incumbent President Petro Poroshenko got counted only 24 percent with more than 96 percent of the ballots counted.

COMEDIAN AND ACTOR ELECTED AS NEW PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE, POLLS SHOW

Poroshenko conceded defeat on Sunday, saying he would leave office next month, Sky News reported. to make it clear that I'm not leaving politics, "he said.

 Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenski speaks to his supporters at his headquarters after the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenski speaks to his supporters at his second quarter of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019.
       (AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)

I have a wave of support in Ukraine's west and east areas that have been traditionally polarized – on his path to the presidency.

One of the campaign themes parroted by the popular 41-year-old television comedian, who has no previous political experience, is a unified Ukraine, a nation which has been in turmoil due to debates about its identity and a separatist conflict in the east fueled by neighboring Russia. 19659011] In this Sunday, April 21, 2019, photo, Ukrainian candidate and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, left, makes the victory sign after the exit polls for the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine. “/>

In this Sunday , April 21, 2019, photo, Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, left, makes the victory sign after the exit polls for the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine.
       (AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)

"We did it together," he said after the exit poll was released, thanking his wife, parents and campaign team. "19659003] COMEDIAN COULD UNSEAT UKRAINE'S POROSHENKO IN THIS SUNDAY'S PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF [19659003] Zelenskiy, a Russian speaker from central Ukraine, has pledged to finally end the war in the country's eastern region and to root out corruption amid widespread fury over soaring prices

 Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenski speaks to his supporters at his headquarters after the second round of presidential elections in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019.  t Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019.
      <span class= (AP Photo / Vadim Ghirda)

He will also be facing Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ruled his country for nearly two decades, if he wants to mend relations with Ukraine's powerful, controversial neighbor.

Officials in Moscow on Monday sounded cautiously optimistic – but also sounded a note of conviction regarding Zelenskiy's victory.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on Facebook on Monday morning that the election results in Ukraine show "there is a chance Medvedev, whose government has been supplying Ukrainian separatists with weapons and power, expressed hope Zelenskiy would be "pragmatic and responsible" when tackling separatism in the east.

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European officials, on the other hand, pledged strong support for plans to reform the country and fight corruption. ed on Sunday in a presidential runoff that saw the nation's incumbent leader struggle to fend off a strong challenge by a comedian who denounces corruption and played the role of president in a TV sitcom. “/>

the nation's incumbent leader struggle to fend off a strong challenge by whoever denounces corruption and played the role of president in a TV sitcom.
       (AP Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka)

In a joint letter to Zelenskiy on Monday, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council chief Donald Tusk said the political news can count on the EU continued and steadfast support of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. "

Juncker and Tusk wrote that" you can count on the EU's strong support to Ukraine's reform path, including consolidating the rule of law, fighting corruption, maintaining macro-financial stability and pursuing the essential reform of the energy sector. "

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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