Ukraine leader's party tipped to win


Ukrainians on Sunday go to the polls to elect a new parliament as comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelensky seeks to bring in political novices and consolidate his power.

Sunday's likely victory would give him control of parliament and the formation of a new government, handing him a stronger mandate to implement reforms after he won the presidential election in April by a landslide. According to the poll results, "Servant of the People" won 44.2% of the votes.

The party won 227 seats in the 450-seat parliament, winning a thin majority, the Central Election Committee said on Monday after counting nearly 60 percent of the ballots.

Polls ahead of Sunday's balloting showed Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party getting the support from a little more than half of those who meant to vote.

The party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is the great victor of yesterday's extraordinary parliamentary elections.

"While this will make it easier for Zelenskiy to push through reforms it also undermines the checks and balances of Ukraine's fragile political institutions".

"The bottom line is that Zelenskiy - between the presidential and the Rada [parliamentary] elections - has put himself in a position for serious reform if that is what he chooses to do", John Herbst, a former USA ambassador to Ukraine, told RFE/RL after the exit polls. His party Holos [Voice] and Zelensky's political force share some goals.

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The new parliament may crush the system, giving Zelensky a chance to weaken the oligarchs.

Partial decent outcomes - with 29% of the vote counted - give President Zelensky's social gathering 42.1%, with the official-Russian Opposition Platform - For Existence social gathering in 2nd build with 12.7% of the vote.

"I believe that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. one nation, in fact", Putin said in an interview with the American film director Oliver Stone on June 19.

The Voice party, fronted by another newcomer to politics, rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, was fifth.

Medvedchuk says Ukraine's proper course is to improve its relations with Moscow, which plummeted after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its support for Russia-backed separatists fighting government troops in a war that has killed more than 13,000 people.

Zelenskiy's party intends to continue a pro-Western course toward joining the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, combining this with economic reforms and an intensified fight against endemic corruption.

Talking outside a polling save after casting his ballotin Kiev earlier on Sunday, Mr Zelensky told the BBC's Steve Rosenberg that the snap election became "perchance extra significant than the presidential election".