A Ukrainian comedian, who plays a fictitious president in a TV show, is tipped to become Ukraine’s next leader, according to a national exit poll.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has no previous experience in politics, has won 73% of the vote, the poll said, surpassing his rival, incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who has 25% of the vote.
Zelenskiy and Poroshenko faced off in a run-off vote to decide the country’s next president on Sunday.
Zelenskiy, 41-years-old, led the first round of voting three weeks ago which listed 39 candidates on the ballot paper.
Zelenskiy and Poroshenko met in an unconventional debate at a football stadium in Kyiv on Friday after the comedian challenged the incumbent president to a debate on social media. Both have pledged to keep Ukraine on a pro-Western course.
The actor is best known for playing an ordinary teacher who is unexpectedly elected to the presidency after an angry rant about corruption was posted online by his students.
However, Poroshenko has warned his opponent’s lack of experience would leave Ukraine vulnerable to Russia. The country has been fighting a war against Russian-bac forces in the east.
Zelenskiy meanwhile, has proved popular with his campaign to end corruption in Ukraine but his political beliefs have not become clear during the election campaign.__EuroNews