Ukrainian: Lawyer Turned Comedian Wins Presidential Election.

Europe News

Forty-one (41) year old trained lawyer turned comedian is reported to have won Ukraine's election in landslide victory beating incumbent President Petro Poroshenko with over 73%. Mr. Poroshenko has since admitted defeat after the first exit polls were published, and vowed he will not be quitting politics.

He told voters that Mr. Zelensky was too inexperienced to stand up to Russia effectively.

"I think that we will have personnel changes. In any case, we will continue in the direction of the Minsk [peace] talks and head towards concluding a ceasefire," he said.

Reports indicate that Ukrainians are coming to terms with the fact that Mr. Zelensky who stars in a TV series is the country's next real 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.

He's got about a month before the inauguration. Then the comedian-turned-president will be faced with a complex in-tray that includes a simmering war with Russian-backed rebels in the east.

Mr. Poroshenko, who has been in power since 2014, said the result of the election "leaves us with uncertainty [and] unpredictability".

"I will leave office but I want to firmly stress - I will not quit politics," he said.

Although condemnations have begun pouring in for the new president as French President, Emmanuel Macron congratulated Mr. Zelensky in a phone call, as did Poland's President Andrzej Duda.

In a tweet, UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "You will now truly be the Servant of the People."

The US embassy in Ukraine tweeted its congratulations while European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU was "determined to continue its support" for Ukraine.

It would be recalled that Billionaire Mr. Poroshenko was elected after an uprising overthrew the country's previous pro-Russian government.