Ukraine Election

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy casts a ballot at a polling station during a parliamentary election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Ukrainians are voting in an early parliamentary election in which the new party of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is set to take the largest share of votes. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

KIEV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party was headed to win the biggest share of votes in the Ukraine’s snap parliamentary election, according to an exit poll Sunday, but it was unclear if the party nailed down a solid majority in the legislature.

The poll of 13,000 voters showed Servant of the People getting 43.9% of the vote for party-list candidates, far ahead of rivals. But 199 of the 424 seats being filled were for single constituencies, which the poll didn’t assess.

Overall, five parties cleared the 5% threshold necessary to get party-list seats, according to the poll. In all, the parties got less than 80% of the overall vote, suggesting that Zelenskiy’s party was likely to win a majority of the party-list seats.

The vote count was proceeding slowly, with less than 1% of the polling stations’ results tallied 3 ½ hours after voting ended.

Nonetheless, Zelenskiy was buoyed by the exit poll’s findings.

“This shows great trust by the people of Ukraine to our party,” he said.

He said “the main priorities for us and for every Ukrainian are the stopping of war, the return of our prisoners and victory over the corruption that remains in Ukraine.”

Zelenskiy, who took office in May, called the election three months ahead of schedule because the parliament was dominated by his opponents. He is seeking a majority that would support his promised fight against Ukraine’s endemic corruption and for other reforms.

His Servant of the People party is named after the television comedy in which he played a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president.

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