Ukrainian Presidential Election Second Round – Zelensky Wins

April 21st in Ukraine marks the second round of the presidential election (the timeline of the first round can be found here).

The ballot papers contain two names – the current president, Petro Poroshenko, who won 15.95% of votes in the first round, and the founder of “Quarter 95”, the showman Vladimir Zelensky, who was supported on March 31st by 30.24% of those who voted.

On April 19th there was a debate between the two candidates at the “Olympic” stadium, which ended in a complete defeat for the president .

The day before the debate, pre-election sociology recorded a serious gap: 73% for Zelensky versus 27% for Poroshenko. Concerning how much the debate will affect these figures, we will find out today.

All timestamps are in local time.


01:22 Voter turnout in the second round of the presidential election in Ukraine as at 20:00 on Sunday was 62.07% according to all 199 constituencies in Ukraine. This was reported on the scoreboard at the Central Election Commission.

The highest turnout in Ukraine was recorded in the Lvov region, where, according to preliminary data, the current president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is leading (67.34%). In second place is Kiev (65.86%). Third place belongs to the Dnepropetrovsk region (65.82%).

The lowest turnout was recorded in the Transcarpathian region (46.38) and in the Chernovtsi region (54.09%). 

23:40 After the presidential election in Ukraine took place, a real reset of the “national agenda” can be carried out. This was reported by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Maria Zakharova.

“With the understanding of the entire world behind the scenes, I’ll still say: Ukraine can reboot. Not in the sense of redistributing cash flows from one pocket to another. A real one, based on the awareness of the need to consolidate the people not on the basis of force, but on the basis of the development of a national agenda. So that next time it won’t be necessary, as it is now, to disconnect millions of its own citizens from the ballot,” she noted.

23:00 The US Embassy in Ukraine, after the announcement of the results of exit polls, according to which Vladimir Zelensky won over 70% of the vote in the presidential election, has already congratulated him on his victory. This was stated in the message of the embassy on Twitter.

21:20 Vladimir Zelensky’s headquarters reported that Petro Poroshenko just called him and congratulated him on his victory.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0UeGrUtnLE

Zelensky was asked: “Have you decided where you will live and work?”

“Yes, we do not want to work in the current administration. I must first get there. This place should be open. We also want to reduce the presidential administration. I do not want traffic jams in Kiev. Therefore, I want to find such a place in Kiev or near Kiev, so that there are no motorcades (the security is now looking at me sternly,” Zelensky replied.

Another question: “Who will be in the “95th quarter” in your place? How do you feel about joking about yourself?”

Answer of Zelensky: “We live with you in a free democratic country. In jokes we understand what the problem is. Who will be with me – I don’t know. And can I appear sometimes? (Laughs) This is a joke. I will be in the hall, only in the hall. In general, we have a lot of talented guys. I think someone will be there.”

The question to Zelensky: “How will you build relations with Russia?”

Answer of Zelensky: “In any case, in the Normandy format. In any case, the Minsk process – we will restart it. I think we will have personnel replacements. This will be the Minsk format, we will go to the end in order to have a cease fire so our guys return alive. Our task is also to return the military personnel, all the prisoners of war. The first task is to return our sailors. I still do not have the status of a president. But I’ve talked to the mothers of our sailors, and I’ll do anything to bring them home. This is a priority issue not only for me, but I think for every Ukrainian.”

A question to Zelensky: “What have you done and will you do first of all for people who are in the ‘occupied’ part of Donbass?”

Answer of Zelensky: “Thank you for your question. I now want to appeal to all journalists. We invite you in the near future – we will make a big information war to stop the war in Donbass. We’ll talk with you for half an hour and not an hour. We invite every Ukrainian journalist and blogger. In the near future. We have a plan. We need your help … Throughout the campaign, we had meetings and concerts. We wanted to come to Mariupol, but we were not allowed there. I think we will soon arrive to people”.

A question to Zelensky: “You scored few votes in Western Ukraine. How will you establish contact?”

Answer of Zelensky: “I will come to Lvov. For me there is no difference – Lvov, Dnepr, Poltava or Krivoy Rog – for me, they are all Ukrainians. I will definitely come and talk. There are some questions … We are for the law about the Ukrainian language. I think there are some questions. As a guarantor, I have to defend the Ukrainian language and will do.”

The question to Zelensky: “It so happened that there is a letter of the law, but there is the spirit of the law. There was campaigning in your branded colours yesterday in Kiev … It does not violate the law, but it violates the spirit of the law. What do you say about that?”

Answer Zelensky: “I have never violated the law in this life. Today there was an administrative violation – I paid a fine. I think billboards were identical for Poroshenko’s team. But, you know, today and yesterday I didn’t hold campaign concerts in Vinnytsia, eg”.

A question to Zelensky: “Where will you appoint Petro Poroshenko? As minister of what?”

Zelensky’s answer: “Do you want me to appoint him somewhere? I’ll turn to society. If society tells me that they want to see Poroshenko at one or the other post – why not. But this is not today’s personnel decision. Still, I wanted would try to do something with a new team.”

20:32 What Zelensky’s HQ looks like:

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20:19 Petro Poroshenko spoke at his headquarters:

“Friends, you are the best! Dear team and community, dear friends, members of the media!

Never give up, never, never, never! Don’t give up on the big one, don’t give up on the little one. Never give up if it’s not contrary to honour and common sense. It is these words of the great Brit Winston Churchill that I have always been guided by. These words I heard when I received the country plundered by Yanukovych and Putin’s Horde.

Back then they called me and I was not congratulated, but condoled. Back then there was definitely no queue for becoming President. ‘Never gave up’ I heard on the eve of the second round. ‘Never give up’, I hear now.

I see the results of the exit polls and they give reason to call my opponent and congratulate him – as is customary in civilised European countries. Tomorrow will be April 22nd and it is necessary to unite to fight for the country. I have to leave my post in a month. But I want to say: I will leave the office, but I will not leave politics. I want to explain why.

We have been able to defend a lot: the Euro-Atlantic strategy, the principles and goals, which, unfortunately, are now in jeopardy. Our team will defend the EU and NATO membership course. Only there we can guarantee the security of Ukraine and protection against the aggressor country. Our team will defend the visa-free. Some members of the Constitutional Court quickly shifted to the new authorities. Now they want to cancel the electronic declaration, which was the main condition for the provision of visa-free travel. Our team will defend the Ukrainian language, and it’s not just that we have already done: quotas, songs, movies, radio, books. If the Verkhovna Rada approves the law on language next week, I will be happy and proud that as President I will have the opportunity to sign it. I’ll definitely sign it.

It’s palm Sunday. I greeted it with my family. We will defend our church against revenge. This is an important part of our state structure. And by the way, we’re still waiting for an apology for the ‘termos’. We will defend the banking system from Kolomoisky, because Ukrainians are waiting for the collapse of the dollar and the crisis. Our team will defend the sanctions regime against Russia. Our team will oppose the Kremlin’s plans to create a loyal majority in the Parliament. And our team will defend decentralisation and, Marina, inclusive education, energy independence and everything that our team has done over these five years.

Our team is all Ukraine. And your efforts made it happen. If it were not for you, Ukrainians, nothing would have happened. The new President will have a strong opposition, very strong. And our Ukraine will only benefit from this. Because democracy and the European way of development will prevail. We are ready to lend a shoulder to the opponent’s team in everything that concerns the European course.

Between the announcement of the results and the inauguration, I will do my best to hand over all European support to the new President. I am ready to give the new President the entire network of world support for Ukraine. This is the real ‘web’, not the one for which we were wrongly reproached by opponents

And more importantly, the elections were fair. We have retained the right to choose Ukrainians. We had a brilliant election – local, parliamentary, presidential. We have a real right, not on paper, to change the power when you, Ukrainians, want. And I am proud that I, Petro Poroshenko, was able to protect it.

My opponents said that I wanted to oppose the elections… God will judge them. And today, on the 21st, I thank everyone for five years – we have done a huge amount of work. We have a huge number of unresolved problems ahead of us. It is obvious that people of Ukraine wanted more and made today that decision which they made. Mr. Mustafa, my respect!

I am grateful for the active civil position today. I thank my team – the most professional. We were working on the most important tasks. I remain in politics so that you won’t be ashamed of voting for Petro Poroshenko.

I thank those who have forgiven our mistakes and blunders. We need to hold on to power. I can’t wash my hands and stay away. We didn’t win the fight today, but that doesn’t mean we lost the war. We have many battles ahead. Ukraine will win for sure!

I also want to thank my family, who are more tired than I am during the presidency. Today we had a difficult conversation, and they supported my decision to stay in politics. Friends, I am proud of my wife. Not just because she’s fantastic. Her image with flags at the stadium, in support of her husband, will remain in my memory.

My decision to stay in politics is not an easy one. And I have to count on my family. Thank you, Artem!

I’m going to say one thing today that I’ve never said before. Look, I love Ukraine. I definitely love it very much. I love my Ukrainian people. I have been guided by this feeling all the years of my presidency. Terrible things have been said about me. If I believed in them, I wouldn’t vote for myself.

I want to conclude with the words of Churchill, too, which he said when he resigned and could not win the election. It remains for me to express to the people of my country my deep respect for their continued and full support and appreciation of the people. And I want to finish with the words that I will pray. God, take care of Ukraine.”

20:05 National exit poll data:

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Vladimir Zelensky -73.5%

Petro Poroshenko – 25%

Invalid ballots – 1.5%

16:36 One of the media driving forces behind Maidan,“Espreso TV”, which previously belonged to Arsen Avakov and Arseny Yatsenyuk, changed its brand colors. Now they are dominated by green (which is coincidentally the colour used by Zelensky in his electoral campaign).

This funny repaint was noticed on the web.

“A competition has been announced by Zelensky for the fastest colour rebranding. They have not yet had time to announce how Espreso TV has already won, where Bogdan Butkevich called for the destruction of people from the East. Applause!” wrote the journalist Olesya Medvedeva on Facebook.

15:48 Ukrainian political scientist Andrey Manchuk comment on the likely victory of Zelensky and the reaction of the presidential camp to this.

“It’s funny now to watch patriotic bourgeois, all kinds of office clerks with innocent faces, who even before the voting started to threaten to rattle sabers, threatening the supporters of Zelensky with a Maidan, a putsch, Freikorps, a “revolt of the national elite”, Pinochet and Yeltsin, prisons and executions.

These people with a plastic conscience are covered in sticky sweat. For all these five years they diligently made their opinion that of the whole society, introduced censorship, curtailed rights and freedoms, and most importantly, cursed and banned all their opponents. So the people ran to vote even for a showman from an odious oligarch’s cage, in the absence of a more decent alternative.

And here everyone saw a long-time obvious fact – the domination of this liberal-nationalist minority always rested on violence and dictate multiplied by disgustingly false propaganda.

Five years ago, they snapped the country, staged a coup, and connected the Ukrainians via bloodshed. And now the dissenting majority raises its head – and this public does not have for its fellow citizens any rational argument, no call for civil dialogue – but only regular attempts to suppress and intimidate.

Because now they are afraid of themselves”.

14:58 The representative of Zelensky’s HQ, Dmitry Razumkov, pubished a photo of how the presidential candidate was handed a protocol on an administrative violation for showing a ballot during the morning vote at the polling station.

14:29 The Committee of Voters of Ukraine reported that manipulative information about filling in ballot papers is being massively distributed on social networks.

It is indicated that it is necessary not only to vote for one of the candidates, but at the same time cross out the name of the other or put other marks opposite his name. One of these messages on the social network facebook has received more than 35,000 distributions. The CVU noted that such actions may lead to the invalidation of ballots.

In accordance with paragraphs 5,6, and 8 of part 26 of article 78 of the Law “On the Ukrainian Presidential Election”, ballots are considered invalid if they contain more than one mark against the names of the candidates; if a single mark isn’t made; if it is not possible for other reasons to establish the content of the voter’s paper.

13:43 In the center of Kiev the observer of Uspishna Varta Artur Zhurbenko recorded campaign materials featuring elements of “black PR” against Vladimir Zelensky. These leaflets were posted on pillars 20 meters from the precinct election commission.

13:36 The Interior Ministry said that it will look into Zelensky showing his ballot paper.

“We just saw it in the media, of course, all these facts will be verified and a proper legal assessment will be provided,” said Zoryan Shkiryak, a representative of the coordination headquarters on law enforcement, at a briefing.

Also, the head of the main National Police department in Kiev, Andrey Krishchenko, said what measures were taken after such violations in the first round of the election. “Several administrative protocols were drawn up for candidates after the first round of the election in Ukraine on March 31st,” said Andrey Krishchenko.

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13:15 The journalist Dmitry Vasilets and his Headquarters for Tracking Elections Abroad documented the first violations in the Ukrainian embassies.

“Despite the CEC’s warning, the foreign constituency continues to amaze!

The head of the election commission refused to allow our Headquarters’ journalist Pavel Onoyko to the polling station in Athens!

In dialogue, we have long tried to explain to the head of the election commission that the law of Ukraine on elections, namely, part 9 of article 28, must be observed, but alas! Apparently, article 171 of the Criminal Code does not frighten the official of the Ukrainian Embassy in Greece.

The fact of a gross violation of the law has been recorded and will be attached, along with a video, to a statement for the police.”

12:41 Zelensky’s parents voted in the election in Krivoy Rog.

11:50 How candidate Zelensky and his wife Elena voted.

11:43 In Lvov, unsurprisingly, members of the election commissions responded to Poroshenko’s call and came to the stations in embroidered shirts.

10:56 In the second round of the election the number of observers has significantly decreased at polling stations compared to the first round, reports the Committee of Voters of Ukraine (CVU).

“This situation takes place in Nikolaev, Cherkassy, Lugansk, Zhytomyr, Zaporozhye, Vinnytsia, Khmelnytsky, and Sumy regions. According to the observers of the CVU, in Nikolaev at half of the polling stations there are no observers at all. In Kiev the representatives of CVU have not noticed any other observer at eight locations. At a number of PECs in Cherkassy there are no observers. In other cases, only 1-2 observers are usually present at the sites,” it was said on Facebook.

The official number of registered observers is significant, the report says. “83 thousand 230 observers were registered from public organizations, 6 thousand 236 – from candidates for the presidency. However, there are actually much fewer people working at the sites

At the same time, the official number of registered observers is significant, the report says. “83,230 observers were registered from public organisations, 6,236 from candidates for the presidency. However, far fewer people are actually working at the polling stations,” the organisation stresses.

10:35 The genocidal and factually unqualified Minister of Healthcare Ulana Suprun has already voted, accompanying it with the slogan “Ukraine above all”, which stems from the German “Deutschland uber alles” – the hymn of the Weimar Republic at first, and then the Third Reich later. After the defeat of the Nazis, this line was removed from the German anthem.

9:45 Suddenly the odious Mirotvorets website deleted the data of the wife of Vladimir Zelensky.

By the way, this website was created by the people’s deputy of the People’s Front party Anton Gerashchenko, who is now constantly extolling Zelensky and criticising Poroshenko. Perhaps this is why the wife of Zelensky was included on “Mirotvorets” for less than a day.

9:38 In Nikolaev at station No. 480896 members of the commission didn’t allow the observer of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine to enter. He was not shown the procedure for opening the safe and removing the ballots.

“At the same time, members of the commission closed themselves with a key in the office with the safe. A policeman was inside and did not help the observer. A gross violation of the Law,” said the Committee.

8:46 The US Ambassador to Ukraine made a statement on the Ukrainian elections:

8:25 Pranker Lexus and Vova trolled the Prime Minister of Kosovo. On his twitter page, Ramush Haradinaj wished good luck to the “future Prime Minister of Ukraine” Vovan Lexusov.

Later realising that they were making fun of him, Haradinaj deleted the tweet. But foreign journalists managed to copy and publish it.

“Apparently, Kremlin pranker Vovan and Lexus called Kosovo’s prime minister. How else can politicians be led to that ?!”, wrote British journalist Sean Walker, citing a screen of Haradinaia’s statements. 

8:07 The headquarters of Zelensky offered a reminder about the main types of electoral fraud.

These are artificial queues, the “carousel” (the same people voting multiple times at different stations), employees of the military registration and enlistment office at polling stations, people with bar codes, money distribution, various unofficial lists, operations of “coloured kerchiefs”, and so on.

8:02 The headquarters of Petro Poroshenko yesterday invited everyone to come to the polls wearing embroidery (which is funny since actually its origins lie in Russia). Such is a kind of flash mob. But let’s see if the president himself comes in embroidery or prefers a suit.

8:00 Polling stations opened. The election has started.

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