Comedian Who Plays Guy Who Accidentally Became Ukrainian President Actually Becomes Ukrainian President

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Volodymyr ZelenskyPA/Netflix

A comedian best known for his role in a TV show as a man who accidentally becomes Ukrainian president has actually become Ukraine’s president.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election on Sunday (April 21), beating incumbent president Petro Poroshenko by nearly 50 per cent of the vote.

Zelenskiy, who has no previous political experience, declared victory at a campaign party in Kiev as confetti was shot into the air. Poroshenko conceded defeat on Sunday evening before results started coming in.

Comedian becomes Ukraine presidentPA

As per The Guardian, according to official results released this morning (April 22), 41-year-old Zelenskiy had won 73.4 per cent of the vote as 85 per cent of the vote had been counted. Poroshenko had received just 24.4 per cent of the vote.

Zelenskiy addressed a crowd of journalists at his campaign headquarters as the polls closed, accompanied by the theme tune to his TV show, thanking Ukrainian citizens for their support.

He said:

We did it together. Thanks to all the Ukrainian citizens who voted for me, and to all who didn’t. I promise I won’t mess up.

Zelenskiy is best known for his role in Servant of the People, where he plays a teacher unexpectedly elected to be president.

Ukranian President in tv showNetflix

Throughout his campaign, the comedian made use of viral videos, stand-up comedy gigs and jokes rather than traditional campaigning, offering little information about his policies. There were no further details about his policies in his brief victory speech.

As per BBC News, Poroshenko, who has been in power since 2014, said the result of the election ‘leaves us with uncertainty [and] unpredictability’.

Poroshenko took to social media shortly after conceding defeat to say he ‘accepts the will of Ukranian people’ and confirmed he would not be leaving politics.

He wrote:

We succeeded to ensure free, fair, democratic and competitive elections. No doubt that Ukraine has put a new high standard for the democratic electoral campaign. I will accept the will of Ukrainian people.

The Guardian reports most voters claimed to vote for the ‘least worst’ option, with enthusiasm for either candidate lacking.

Zelenskiy’s supporters say it is time for change in Ukraine, while critics question his credentials and express doubt over whether he’ll be able to stand up to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Zelenskiy must, as president, face up to the country’s struggling economy and an ongoing war against Russia-backed separatists in the east that has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives.

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Lucy Connolly

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).