Kiev, Apr 1: In what may be seen as an atypical blend of politics and fun, Ukraine has chosen a comedian for a President as exit polls showed on Sunday that humourist Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky took the lead in first round of the political race.
Popular for his anti-corruption message, Mr Zelensky (41) has zero political experience. He, however, dons many hats: he is a screenwriter, actor and director of Ukrainian film studio Kvartal 95.
Zelenskiy secured 30.6 per cent of votes, compared to his opponent Petro Poroshenko, who was racked up at 17.8 per cent, CNBC quoted an updated exit poll released at 2000 hours (GMT), three hours after voting closed.
“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the Ukrainians who did not vote just for fun,” Zelenskiy told cheering supporters on Sunday evening. “It is only the beginning, we will not relax.”
In keeping with the relaxed style of his campaign, Zelenskiy’s election night venue provided a bar with free alcohol, table football and table tennis games.
His television series 'Servant of the People' began airing on Ukrainian television three and a half years ago and was well received by the masses, who till now had only witnessed money and powerful oligarchs dominating the political arena. UNI