• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at his party's headquarters after a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine July 21, 2019.

    Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks at his party's headquarters after a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine July 21, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 July 2019 (15 hours 33 minutes ago)

A triumphant Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he would invite the staunchly pro-Western Voice party, led by rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, for coalition talks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party took a commanding lead in Sunday's snap parliamentary election, handing the novice politician a broader mandate for driving change and tackling corruption the war-scarred nation.

RELATED:

Ukraine's Zelenskiy Wins Presidency in Landslide

A TV comedian with no prior policymaking experience, Zelenskiy won a landslide victory in a presidential ballot in April, having cast himself as an everyman outsider who would tackle corruption and raise living standards in one of Europe's poorest countries.

The 41-year-old has had to deal with a cabinet and lawmakers who are most loyal to his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, prompting him to call a snap election to consolidate his power.

Exit polls showed his Servant of the People party far ahead of its nearest challenger, although it may fall short of a majority.

A triumphant Zelenskiy said he would invite the staunchly pro-Western Voice party, led by rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, for coalition talks. Vakarchuk's party said it was open to an alliance with new political forces so long as they were not backed by oligarchs.

Zelenskiy, after casting his ballot in north Kiev, said he would decide on coalition options after results were known.

"(But) Honestly, we don't see a coalition with anyone from the old leadership," he said.

He wanted a professional economist as prime minister and said he was holding consultations with a possible candidate he did not identify. "I would like him to be an absolutely independent person, who has never been either a prime minister or a speaker or a leader of any faction."

Zelenskiy, whose victory fits a pattern of anti-establishment figures unseating incumbents in Europe and further afield, has promised to end the war in the eastern Donbass region and to root out corruption amid widespread dismay over rising prices and falling living standards.

His unorthodox presidential campaign traded on the character he played in a TV show, a scrupulously honest schoolteacher who becomes president by accident after an expletive-ridden rant about corruption goes viral.

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.