A TV comedian is the new president of Ukraine after he crushed the incumbent president in a national election.
The New York Times reports that Volodymyr Zelensky won by a landslide, “making a comic actor with no experience in government or the military the commander in chief of a country that has been at war with Russian proxies for over five years.”
With more than 95 percent of the vote counted, Zelensky had 73.17 percent of the vote to just 24.5 percent for Petro O. Poroshenko, the country’s incumbent president, The Times reports.
“Mr. Zelensky triumphed in every region, except for the area around the city of Lviv, a center of Ukrainian culture and nationalism in the west of the country,” The Times reports, adding: “Mr. Zelensky’s victory will give Ukraine its first Jewish leader and deliver a stinging rebuke to a political and business establishment represented by Mr. Poroshenko, a billionaire candy tycoon who campaigned on the nationalist slogan ‘Army, language, faith.’”
Final results may not become official until April 30, the report notes.
The Times adds: “After five years of grinding war with Russian proxies in the east of Ukraine, voters appeared to send a signal that they were more concerned with the internal menaces of corruption and poverty — ignoring Mr. Poroshenko’s warning, delivered after he cast his own ballot on Sunday, that voting for a comedian ‘is not funny’ and could lead to ‘painful’ consequences.”