Ukranian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy isn’t a politician — but he plays the president on TV. As luck would have it, life is on its way to imitating art as Zelenskiy today came out victorious in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election after candidate Petro Poroshenko conceded defeat.
According to news reports, exit polls suggest a landslide victory for Zelenskiy who won the presidential runoff with 73.2% of the vote against Poroshenko’s 25.3%. The official results are expected to come Sunday night.
Zelenskiy is known for his role on the Ukrainian TV series Servant of the People. The show follows a teacher who unexpectedly becomes Ukrainian president after an angry rant about corruption is posted online by his students. Apparently, this is paralleling his character on Servant of the People because, like his character on the Ukranian show, he has promised to clean up politics in the country. Even so, his real-life campaign has been vague when it comes to his stance on policy, but he’s been leaning into viral videos, standup comedy and jokes as a source of his campaign.
After the polls closed, Zelenskiy was addressed a crowd of journalists at his campaign headquarters as the theme to Servant of the People played and thanked the citizens who voted for him and promised: “I won’t mess up.”
Ukraine is a country that is facing numerous challenges including a struggling economy and an ongoing war against Russia-backed separatist forces in the east that has so far claimed over than 13,000 lives.