Comedian who plays a president on television comes out on top in first round of Ukraine elections

Exit polls in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election show a comedian with no political experience as the front-runner.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, 41, is the star of “Servant of the People,” a Ukrainian television show about an ordinary civilian who becomes president.

Zelenskiy received 30.4 percent of the vote on Sunday, coming in ahead of the incumbent, current President Petro Poroshenko, according to the BBC.

{mosads}”I’m very happy but this is not the final result,” Zelenskiy told the BBC.

Poroshenko received 17.8 percent of the vote, and will head to a run-off election next month.

Former Prime Minister Yulia Tyomoshenko will be eliminated, coming in third with a projected 14.2 percent of Sunday’s vote.

The BBC reports that Zelenskiy did not hold any campaign rallies, gave relatively few interviews and “appears to have no strong political views apart from a wish to be new and different.” His campaign held a ping pong tournament at a Kyiv club on Sunday, according to the Guardian, offering a chance to play Zelenskiy as the prize.

Poroshenko, a chocolate magnate, has been dogged by allegations of corruption. The election comes amid ongoing tensions between Ukrainian troops and eastern separatists.


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