Following the results of yesterday’s elections, Volodymyr Zelensky has been elected by a landslide of more than 70% of the total vote to become Ukraine’s next President.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon in Kyiv, Rebecca Harms the Head of the European Parliament election observation delegation congratulated the citizens of Ukraine for their deep commitment to democracy, demonstrated in competitive elections in which they had a free choice.
Paying tribute to the outgoing President Petro Poroshenko, she said, “We also welcome the statesmanship demonstrated by the incumbent in accepting the democratic choice of Ukrainians on election night, even after the heated campaign.”
“Yesterday’s vote is first and foremost a victory of the Ukrainian people,” she went on to say. “The election was conducted in a peaceful and orderly fashion, paving the way for a democratic transition of power in the Presidency. Ukrainians showed up at the polling stations in large numbers to decide on the future of their country.”
“The European Parliament encourages and supports the incoming president in continuing, and strengthening reform efforts, particularly in fighting corruption and poverty. We are confident that the incoming president is fully aware of his responsibilities. In carrying out these reforms he can fully rely on the support of the European Union. As the President of the European Council, Mr Tusk, said yesterday the president-elect of Ukraine can count on the European Union strong support on the country’s reform path and its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. ”
“The European path of Ukraine is enshrined in the Ukrainian Constitution. It is the path charted by the Revolution of Dignity and the way most of the Ukrainians want to go for their freedom and a decent, good life. The European Union and the European Parliament will firmly support Ukraine in this endeavour,” she concluded.
Zelensky is expected to be inaugurated in early June, and the crucial elections to Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada will take place under his Presidency this autumn.
His successful election campaign did not fully spell out the programme he intends to implement as President in order to deliver on his popular mandate. He has also still to appoint key members of his support team in the Presidential administration. This is an exciting result for Ukraine’s young democracy and we can expect some dynamic changes in the weeks to come.