KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine entered uncharted political waters on Sunday after exit polls showed a comedian with no political experience and few detailed policies had easily won enough votes to become the next president of a country at war.
The apparent landslide victory of Comedian Zelensky, 41, is a bitter blow for incumbent Petro Poroshenko who tried to rally Ukrainians around the flag by casting himself as a bulwark against Russian aggression and a champion of Ukrainian identity.
Two national exit polls showed Zelensky had won 73 percent of the vote with Poroshenko winning just 25 percent. Early voting data suggested the polls were accurate.
Comedian Zelensky, who plays a fictitious president in a popular TV series, is now poised to take over the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and support for a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine.