Alwaght- Volodymyr Zelensky, a Television Comic, has won Ukraine's presidential runoff vote, defeating incumbent President Petro Poroshenko with more than 73 percent of the vote against about 25, according to official preliminary results.
Poroshenko conceded defeat on Sunday at a press conference minutes after the exit polls were announced, saying he would help the new president prepare for the role between the official announcement of the election results and his inauguration.
"Next month, I will leave the office of the head of state. This is the decision of the majority of Ukrainian people. I accept this decision. I am leaving the office, but I want to highlight that I am not leaving politics. I will fight for Ukraine," he said.
"My team and I are ready to support the president in everything that gets us close to the European Union and NATO. And between the official announcement of election results and his inauguration, I am ready to spend any length of time without any restrictions on helping the new president get up to speed," said Poroshenko.
Zelensky, the star of the Servant of the People television sitcom, where he fights corruption as a teacher-turned-president, benefited from the Ukrainians' fatigue of mainstream politicians.
Zelensky will inherit a massive to-do list for a country that is in the midst of a simmering conflict with Russia and has fallen to become one of the poorest countries in Europe, and confronts perceptions of corruption.
As such, Zelensky will likely enjoy an extremely short honeymoon in which to prove that he can ably translate his comedic, on-air persona into a living, breathing president with substantial decision-making powers over foreign affairs, defense, intelligence, and in appointing the nation's top prosecutor.