Preliminary results in Ukraine’s parliamentary election suggest President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party is on course to win big as Ukrainians endorse his reform agenda.
The Central Election Commission (CEC) said the ruling party had secured 42.19% of the votes after just over a third had been counted on Monday.
This was followed far behind by the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform for Life, which secured 12.75%, and former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko’s party, European Solidarity, with 8.71%.
But the early distant lead for the Servant of the People party, which is led by Dmytro Razumkov, was somewhat overshadowed by reports of poor voter turnout.
The turnout was registered at 49.9%, which marked the lowest in the last 25 years of parliamentary voting in Ukraine.
Addressing supporters after an initial exit poll was announced on Sunday evening, Zelensky said he would be happy to cooperate with the Voice party, headed by rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, for talks about forming a governing coalition in parliament.
A senior member of the Voice party, which is currently fifth with 6.39% of the votes, separately said it was open to an alliance with new political forces provided they were not backed by oligarchs.
Speaking to reporters after the exit poll was published, Razumkov predicted his party had won all of the constituencies in Kiev.
The early results in the election prove Zelensky is likely to have confirmed his grip on power after his surprise victory against incumbent Poroshenko in the presidential run-off in April.
Zelensky, who shot to fame playing the president on Ukrainian television, won the second round run-off runoff with 73.2% of the vote despite having no political experience with an anti-corruption, anti-oligarch message.