He's not the president, he just plays one on TV. For now.
Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, as expected, emerged with a plurality in Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday. Zelensky, who portrays a fictional president on a popular satirical television show in Ukraine, garnered 30.4 percent of the vote. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko came in a fairly distant second with 17.4 percent of the vote. Because neither candidate received a majority vote, they'll face each other in a run-off on April 21.
The other serious contender in an extremely crowded field, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, finished in third with 14.2 percent, but now faces elimination from the race.
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Zelensky and Poroshenko are both reportedly pro-European Union. But while Poroshenko has long been established in Ukrainian political circles, Radio Free Europe reports that Zelensky "has tapped into public frustration in Ukraine over the pace of reforms and fighting corruption."
Perhaps not coincidentially, the president Zelensky portays was an ordinary citizen who rose to the office after a video of the character denouncing corruption went viral, per RFERL. In reality, Zelensky's surge has happened in a similar fashion — per BBC, he reportedly did not hold rallies and seldom speaks to the press, instead relying on his social media presence to appeal to young voters.
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