Final Ukraine Election Results Confirm Zelenskiy Landslide
By RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service July 26, 2019
Ukraine's Central Election Commission says it has counted all of the ballots cast in July 21 snap parliamentary elections, confirming an overwhelming win for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party.
The results posted on the commission's website on July 26 show the comedian-turned-president's party taking top spot with 43.16 percent of the votes, with his main challenger, the pro-Russian Opposition Platform -- For Life party, far behind in second place with 13.05 percent of the ballots.
Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland party placed third with 8.18 percent of the votes, while former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity was next with 8.10 percent in the election, which was held three months ahead of schedule.
Rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk's Holos (Voice) party was the only other to pass the five-percent threshold needed for parliamentary representation, taking 5.80 percent of the votes.
Turnout, the commission said, was 49.2 percent.
Under Ukraine's mixed election system, half the Rada's seats are determined by votes on party lists and the rest are first-past-the-post constituency races.
The commission did not announce a breakdown of the allocation of seats in the legislature, but Zelenskiy's party is expected to end up with a majority, the first time in Ukraine's postindependence history that a party will have won a majority in the parliament -- the Verkhovna Rada.
Local media outlets estimate Zelenskiy's party won 254 seats, compared with 43 seats for the Opposition Platform -- For Life, 26 seats for Fatherland, 25 seats for the European Solidarity party, and 20 seats for Holos.
Final official results of the elections, including seat allocations, are expected to be made public no later than August 9, with the new parliament's first session due within a month after that announcement.
The strong result for Servant of the People, which was formed just a few months ago, underscores Ukrainians' desire for a break with established politicians and parties that have failed to improve living standards enough.
It also gives Zelenskiy -- who won the presidency in April in a landslide victory -- more power in choosing outsiders to occupy key government positions.
Zelenskiy has said that one of his main priorities will be "to defeat the corruption that continues to persist in Ukraine."
Graft has for years stifled economic growth in the Eastern European country.
However, questions remain about how willing Zelenskiy is to break from the oligarch-and-backroom-deals tradition of politicking in Ukraine.
Zelenskiy's ties to one of the country's wealthiest men, Ihor Kolomoyskiy, has worried reformers and some Western supporters. Zelenskiy's chief of staff previously worked as Kolomoyskiy's lawyer.
With reporting by Ukrayinska Pravda and UNIAN
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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