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Ukraine’s Anti-Establishment Takes Power in National Elections

Ukraine’s anti-establishment takes over the government.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky, a former television comedian and media entertainer, will become the first head of state and government since the fall of Soviet communism to lead a parliament with an overall majority. With more than 70% of the results officiated, Zelensky’s new populist party, Servant of the People, won more than 42% of the popular vote or 250 seats of the national parliament’s 450 seats.

Other political newcomers such as Voice, a pro-European party led by rock music artist Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, received 6% of the vote or almost 20 seats. President Zelensky and leaders of Servant of the People will form a coalition or an alliance with Voice and other pro-European and anti-Russian parties with the exception of European Solidarity, a party led by former president Petro Poroshenko.

Zelensky, who defeated Poroshenko in Spring 2019, is proposing radical reforms and other policies to combat nationwide corruption, revive the stagnated economy, seek greater association as well as membership with the European Union, and end the conflict in Eastern Ukraine between Pro-Russian forces and the Ukrainian military as well as the Russian occupation of the Crimean Peninsula.

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