Ukraine Presidential vote: Comedian set to win first round

Ukrainian comic actor and the presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky enters a hall in Kiev on March 6, 2019, to take part in the shooting of the television series "Servant of the People" where he plays the role of the President of Ukraine. - Anger with the political elite is partly behind the rise of Volodymyr Zelensky, a TV actor with no political experience who is the frontrunner in the upcoming presidential vote. Zelensky is polling at 25 percent, ahead of Poroshenko on 17 percent and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko on 16 percent as of March 4, 2019. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)

Ukrainians exhausted by five years of war and decades of official corruption look set to send a comedian with no political experience into a second round run-off against the incumbent when they vote in Sunday’s presidential election.

The favourite in Sunday’s first round vote is Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political novice who plays a fictitious Ukrainian president in a popular TV series and who, in real life, has tapped into an anti-establishment mood among voters.

Many opinion polls put the serving president, Petro Poroshenko, in second place, a result that would set up a run-off between him and Zelenskiy next month, with a hard-to-predict final outcome.


Zainab Sa’idp