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Iran Press TV

Ukraine's president's party wins majority in snap parliamentary election

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 22, 2019 05:48AM

The political party of Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has gained a record score in SNAP parliamentary elections, according to exit polls, but still needs to form a coalition.

The party, Servant of the People, has garnered 43.9 percent of the vote in Sunday's election, according to combined figures from three pollsters.

The 44-year-old president, who won a landslide victory in April, has so far been unable to appoint his favoured ministers due to a hostile parliament.

He called for snap elections soon after winning the presidential election and vowed to bring in a new generation of politicians to lead the country.

Speaking shortly after the exit polls were released, the comedian-turned-president said his primary goals were to bring peace and tackle corruption.

"We will not let the Ukrainians down" he said. "Our main priorities – and I repeat this for every Ukrainian – are to end the war, return our prisoners and defeat the corruption that persists in Ukraine."

The 43.9 percent score is said to be the highest in a parliamentary election for any party since Ukraine gained its independence in 1991 upon the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Among the 21 other parties that took part in the election, the pro-Russian party, Opposition Platform-For Life, came in second with 11.5 percent, the polls said.

Zelensky also said he was looking for a "new face and a specialist in the economy" to become the next prime minister.

He has ruled out any coalition with the Opposition, Platform-For Life party, but said that he would "be pleased to invite" the newly-formed party of rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk for coalition talks.

The party, Holos, which was created just before the election, is packed with young people new to politics, very similar to that of the Servant of the People party run by Zelensky.

Among the parties who passed the required 5-percent threshold for the available parliamentary seats, former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity party, and former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko's party, Batkivshyna ("Fatherland").

The two former ruling parties entered the legislature with 8.9 and 7.6 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

The newcomers to parliament will, however, face a long list of challenges in a country which is heavily dependent on foreign aid and engaged in years of conflict with Russia.

The conflict between the two countries has been ongoing since 2014, when the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum in which more than 90 percent of participants voted in favor of the move.

The West brands the reunification as annexation of Ukrainian land by Russia.

In siding with Ukraine, the EU, and some other Western countries have followed Washington's lead in leveling several rounds of sanctions against Moscow.

Earlier this month, Keiv initiated a telephone conversation between Zelensky and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The two discussed settling the long-running conflict days after Zelensky proposed holding a face to face meeting with Putin in Minsk, Belarus.

In response to the proposal Putin said that Moscow is ready for "any kind of talks" on the Ukrainian issue. He said earlier that he believes Russians and Ukrainians constitute one nation and that the countries should find a way to integrate.

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