Comedian Zelensky wins presidency by landslide

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. ALJAZEERA.COM

UKRAIN – Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election.

With nearly all ballots counted in the run-off vote, Zelensky had taken more than 73% with incumbent Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind on 24%.

“I will never let you down,” Zelensky said.

Russia says it wants him to show sound judgement, honesty and pragmatism.

Poroshenko, who admitted defeat after the first exit polls, said he will not be leaving politics.

The newly elect president is best known for starring in a satirical television series Servant of the People, in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president.

He said he would “reboot” peace talks with the separatists fighting Ukrainian forces and volunteers in the east.

“I think we will have personnel changes. In any case we will continue in the direction of the Minsk [peace] talks and head towards concluding a ceasefire,” he said.

There are sporadic skirmishes and the situation remains tense around Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014. (BBC)


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