Wed, 22 May 2019

KYIV -- Voters in Ukraine are going to the polls on April 21 in a second-round presidential election that could seal the political fate of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.

Polls showed Poroshenko's rival, 41-year-old comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, with a substantial lead as campaigning wound down.

A survey released on April 18 by the Reiting research group found that 57.9 percent of voters say they will definitely vote to support Zelenskiy, with 21.7 percent saying they plan to vote for Poroshenko.

Zelenskiy, who has run his campaign mostly on social media and has largely avoided substantial policy discussions, has benefited from Ukraine's slumping economy, endemic corruption, and fatigue over Kyiv's five-year-long war against Russia-backed separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine.

'I'm not a politician,' Zelenskiy said during a sometimes-heated debate between the two candidates at Kyiv's Olimpiyskiy Stadium on April 19. 'I'm just an ordinary person who has come to break the system.'

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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