Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy won the Ukrainian presidential election with a landslide victory on April 21st.
With nearly all ballots counted in the run-off vote, Mr Zelensky had taken more than 73% with incumbent Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind on 24%.
In a video published on his Instagram, Zelenskiy expressed his happiness over winning and greeted his supporters.
View this post on Instagram
“I will never let you down,” Zelenskiy told celebrating supporters.
Zelenskiy said in a speech: “We have accomplished this together.”
“All citizens of the post-Soviet countries, look at us! Everything is possible.”
Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko admitted defeat and congratulated his opponent. He said the results were “clear” and a reason to “call my opponent and congratulate him.”
“I will leave office but I want to firmly stress — I will not quit politics,” he added.
Poroshenko posted on Facebook that he will leave the presidential post, but he would still remain in politics. And he would present a strong opposition.
In another post he said that “they” may have lost this fight, but the war was still not lost.
Poroshenko, who has been in power since 2014, said the result of the election “leaves us with uncertainty [and] unpredictability.” According to him, Zelenskiy was too inexperienced “to stand up to Russia” effectively.
Furthermore, Poroshenko launched a last-minute plea on Facebook, telling Ukrainians “a five-year presidential term is not a comedy that you can easily switch off if it is no longer funny.”
Zelenskiy, on his part told reporters he would “reboot” peace talks with the separatists fighting Ukrainian forces and volunteers in the east.
“I think that 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.
He also would presumably follow the 10 step-plan his HQ presented earlier.
In terms of international reaction to the results, French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Mr Zelenskiy in a phone call, as did Poland’s President Andrzej Duda.
UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also congratulated Zelenskiy.
Congratulations to Volodymyr Zelenskiy & @zeteam_official on your Presidential election success. You will now truly be the Servant of the People. We look forward to working together as the UK continues to support Ukraine, her chosen Euro-Atlantic path, reform process & security
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) April 21, 2019
The US Embassy in Ukraine also congratulated Zelenskiy.
(1/3) We congratulate President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyy and thank all those who contributed to ensuring Ukraine’s presidential election was conducted in a peaceful manner.
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) April 21, 2019
European Council President Donald Tusk also extended his congratulations.
A decisive day for Ukraine. Free elections and peaceful change of power = strong Ukrainian democracy. Congratulations to Volodymyr Zelensky. The EU is determined to continue its support.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 21, 2019
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also congratulated the president-elect on Twitter, writing: “Ukraine is a valued #NATO partner & we look forward to continuing our cooperation.”
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) April 21, 2019
Notably, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also tweeted regarding Zelenskiy’s win, saying that he should how “sound judgement”, “honesty” and “pragmatism” so that relations can improve.
— English text below —Выборы на Украине состоялись. Результат показал явный запрос на новые подходы при решении…
Ukraine has voted, and the election results clearly show that voters are eager for new approaches to resolving Ukraine’s problems. It is obvious that the new president will have to consolidate the country with due account of the reality that took shape over the past years
— Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussiaE) April 22, 2019
The Russian foreign ministry said:
“Exit polls show the citizens of Ukraine voted for change. The new leadership now must understand and realize the hopes of its electors. This of course applies to domestic as well as foreign affairs.”
Finally, it should be noted that Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s victory is more than like a result of the current state of Ukraine, the economic and political troubles, as well as the on-going war. The landslide victory is also showing of how worse people’s attitude towards Poroshenko and his government had become.
The result is sufficient proof of Poroshenko’s failure to deliver on any of the promises that he proclaimed in 2014 when he was elected as well as the demonstration how destructive his policies towards the situation in eastern Ukraine were.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Zelensky’s Plan: First 10 Steps In Event Of Victory In Presidential Election
- Ukrainian Election Day: Comedian and Freshman Politician Leads Early Polls
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