41 year old actor and comedian, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won the Ukrainian presidency beating incumbent Petro Poroshenko with more than 70% of votes cast in Sunday’s runoff elections.
Zelenskiy who plays the president in an Ukrainian TV series with no political experience led the first round of elections three weeks ago forcing a runoff between him and president Poroshenko who came second as no candidate won absolute majority.
Zelenskiy is best known for playing an ordinary teacher who is unexpectedly elected to the presidency after an angry rant about corruption was posted online by his students, in a long-running Ukrainian television series.
His campaign has blurred the lines between the real-life Zelenskiy and his on-screen character, but some are concerned that for all his anti-system rhetoric, Zelenskiy has close links to the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy.
Zelenskiy has denied he is a “Kolomoyskiy puppet” and said combating corruption would be among his top priorities as president.
Zelenskiy, 41, voted in Kyiv on Sunday morning, stopping to tell reporters his wife had played him an Eminem song before he came to cast his ballot, to put him in a good mood. He predicted the vote would result in “victory for the Ukrainian people”, adding: “We have united the country.”