By Andrew Irumba
Ukraine: A popular comedian is now the president-elect of Ukraine after being voted into office over the weekend.
Volodymyr Zelensky scored a landslide victory in the country’s presidential election. With nearly all ballots counted in the run-off vote, Zelensky had taken more than 73% with incumbent Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind on 24%. “I will never let you down,” Mr Zelensky told his celebrating supporters. Russia says it wants him to show ‘sound judgement’, ‘honesty’ and ‘pragmatism’ so that relations can improve. Russia backs separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The comments came from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, in a Facebook post on Monday (in Russian). He said he expected Mr Zelensky to “repeat familiar ideological formulas” that he used in the election campaign, adding: “I have no illusions on that score. “At the same time, there is a chance to improve relations with our country.” However, Mr Poroshenko, who admitted defeat after the first exit polls were published, has said he will not be leaving politics. He told voters that Mr Zelensky, 41, was too inexperienced to stand up to Russia effectively.Mr Zelensky, a political novice, is best known for starring in a satirical television series Servant of the People, in which his character accidentally becomes Ukrainian president. The pressure will now be on Mr. Zelensky to demonstrate that he knows what he is doing. Throughout the election campaign, he avoided serious interviews and discussions about policy – preferring instead to post light-hearted videos to social media.