On April 21, the final round of the presidential election is taking place in Ukraine.
Ukrainians are casting their votes either for incumbent President Petro Poroshenko or comedian actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a newcomer in politics running his first-ever race for a public office.
The first round of the presidential election took place on March 31 among 39 candidates, a record number. Of those who voted, Poroshenko got 15.95 percent of support while Zelenskiy – 30.24 percent.
According to the latest poll by Rating sociological group published on April 18, the last day when sociological agencies are allowed by Ukrainian law to reveal their polls before the second round of the presidential elections, Zelenskiy got 72.7 percent of support among the decided voters who said they would vote, while Poroshenko received 27.2 percent.
This post is being updated during the day, adding the latest developments.
11:56 a.m. – Crunching some numbers from the CEC, which has Zelenskiy at 73.14 percent. This is the biggest win in the history of independent Ukraine for a president — in percentage terms. But if you go by the total popular vote, Ukraine’s first President Leonid Kravchuk is still the clear winner, with 19.64 million. Zelenskiy got 13.18 million, behind Leonid Kuchma (15.87 million in 1994) and Viktor Yuschenko (15.16 million). Zelenskiy beat Ukraine’s runaway fourth President Viktor Yanukovych, who got 12.48 million in 2010, even though the electorate sank from 37 million in 2010 to 30 million in 2019 due to loss of Crimea, parts of the Donbas, and increased emigration. Outgoing President Petro Poroshenko, despite being one of only two presidents to win in the first round of voting (the other being Kravchuk), was the weakest winner in terms of the popular vote, with 9.86 million.
9:20 a.m. – With 93 percent of the ballots counted by the Central Election Commission, Zelenskiy gets 73.17 percent of the vote, Poroshenko gets 24.49 percent. 2.3 percent of ballots are void.
2:39 a.m. – U.S. President Donald Trump has called Zelenskiy to congratulate him on his victory, according to Kyiv Post source in the Zelenskiy campaign. Previously, the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper also reported the phone call, citing unnamed sources.
2:05 a.m. – With 36.71 percent of the ballots processed, Zelenskiy receives 73.3 percent of the vote, Poroshenko – 24.3 percent.
1.26 a.m. – With 25.72 percent of the ballots counted by the Central Election Commission, Zelenskiy received 73.22 percent of the vote; Poroshenko — 24.44 percent. 2.33 percent of ballots have been declared invalidated.
12:51 a.m. – French President Emmanuel Macron has congratulated Zelenskiy by phone, according to a post on the politician’s Facebook page. “My most sincere thanks to the president of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, for the congratulations and the support!” Zelenskiy wrote in French.
12:28 a.m. – According to the Central Election Commission, turnout during the second round of the 2019 presidential election was 62.06 percent. The highest turnout was recorded in western Lviv Oblast, the one oblast that Poroshenko won, while the lowest turnout was recorded in Zakarpattia Oblast, which can most likely be attributed to labor migration.
(Map by Yuliana Romanyshyn)
10:30 p.m. – The final results of the National Exit Poll are out. They represent a slight adjustment to the previous results. According to the poll, Zelenskiy will take 73 percent of the vote, while Poroshenko will receive 25.5 percent.
The National Exit Poll surveyed over 14,500 people at 300 polling places.
10:00 p.m. – Poroshenko has phoned Zelenskiy to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential election, Zelenskiy said while speaking with the press.
“I am very thankful that he congratulated me. He said I can count on his help at any time…This is cool. We are uniting Ukraine,” Zelenskiy said.
9:48 p.m. – Some more excerpts from Zelenskiy’s comments to the press.
- On the war in Donbas: “We will act within the Normandy Format and will continue the Minsk (peace) process. We will be reloading it: I believe we’ll have staff turnovers…we will do everything possible for the sake of ending open hostilities. Bringing our boys back home alive is paramount for us. Apart from that, our number one task is to get all of our prisoners of war back.”
- On the Ukrainian language: “I must protect the Ukrainian language as guarantor (of the constitution), and I will do it.”
- On Poroshenko: “Poroshenko has offered me his assistance. If I ever need it, I’ll call him… Do you want me to appoint him to a post? I will definitely ask society, and if it wants Petro Poroshenko on some post, it can happen. But let’s at least try to do something with new people.”
9:31 p.m. – Speaking to journalists at his campaign headquarters, Zelenskiy said that Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, a Poroshenko ally, will not remain in office. “Lutsenko is the old team. We will appoint new people! And this is not only about Lutsenko,” he said.
9:24 p.m. – After admitting defeat in the second round of the Ukrainian presidential election, Poroshenko has published a series of tweets in English announcing that he will remain in politics and continue to “counter revanche” in Ukraine. A few of the tweets:
We succeeded to ensure free, fair, democratic and competitive elections. No doubt that Ukraine has put a new high standard for the democratic electoral campaign. I will accept the will of Ukrainian people.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) April 21, 2019
As one of the key political leaders in Ukraine, I will remain at Ukraine’s service and will keep championing EU and NATO integration agenda, decentralization, security and anticorruption reforms.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) April 21, 2019
You may just look at the celebrations in the Kremlin on the occasion of the elections. They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian President Ukraine could be quickly returned to Russia’s orbit of influence.
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) April 21, 2019
I call on the international community to help Ukraine to secure all the recent achievements and the strategic choice of the nation for integration to the European Union and the NATO. Please, stay with Ukraine no matter what! Support Ukrainians and be with them!
— Петро Порошенко (@poroshenko) April 21, 2019
9:16 p.m. – The Kyiv Post now has maps showing the predicted regional results of the election, according to the National Exit Poll.
(Maps by Yuliana Romanyshyn)
8:53 p.m. – Zelenskiy has published a video message to his supporters on his campaign’s Facebook page. “I want to thank you all for being with us all these four months,” he said. He also thanked them for “the work that you did, that we did together.”
“And the most important thing that we did: we united Ukraine, we united our lives, we united our people,” Zelenskiy said.
8:25 p.m. – Poroshenko accepted his loss.
“I’m leaving office, but I’m not leaving politics,” Poroshenko said at his headquarters.
8:15 p.m. – Zelenskiy and his wife appeared in front of the press and his team at the campaign headquarters after the exit polls predicted his victory.
“I will never fail you,” he said,addressing his voters. “While I’m not yet president, I can say the following. To all post-Soviet countries: look at us. Everything is possible.”
8:10 p.m. – The national exit poll announces results as of 6 p.m.: Zelenskiy gets 73.2 percent, Poroshenko – 25.3 percent. 1.5 percent of voters ruined their ballots.
8 p.m. – Polling stations close in Ukraine.
7:51 p.m. – From Zelenskiy’s headquarters: A dense crowd at Zelenskiy’s headquarters as the candidate is about to arrive.
“We are in the mood for victory,” said Mykhailo Fyodorov, head of Zelenskiy’s digital strategy.
Fyodorov said he’ll stay in Zelenskiy’s team after the election but doesn’t know what his role will be.
“Maybe it will be not in his administration,” he said.
— Reported by Bermet Talant.
7:50 p.m. – From Poroshenko’s headquarters: Serhiy Berezenko, one of the top lawmakers of Poroshenko’s party, said his mood is “philosophical” now. He said the turnout in western Ukraine wasn’t as big as they had expected.
“We thought people will come in mass for the Easter. The miracle didn’t happen,” he said.
He didn’t want to comment about the mistakes Poroshenko’s team made though admitted there “were a lot of them.” — Reported by Oksana Grytsenko
7 p.m. – One hour is left before the polling stations in Ukraine close at 8 p.m.
6:40 p.m. – From Poroshenko’s headquarters: Oleksiy Honcharenko, a lawmaker from Bloc of Petro Poroshenko’s party faction, said he’s in a good mood regardless of the polls that predicted a loss to Poroshenko, and is ready to be in opposition to Zelenskiy if the comedian becomes president.
“What brought us here? Of course, we made a lot of mistakes with picking the wrong people for our team,” the lawmaker, who once was a member of the disgraced ex-President Viktor Yanukovych’s party, told the Kyiv Post. “But you must admit that we received the country in such a difficult situation five years ago. I presume than in six month or a year people will say that they made a very big mistake with Zelenskiy. But it will be too late, a young democracy makes mistakes.”
Honcharenko said he thinks that the snap parliament elections are possible but didn’t want to discuss how many people Poroshenko might have in the next parliament and whether Honcharenko would be among them. The parliamentary election is set to take place in October. — Reported by Oksana Grytsenko
6:30 p.m. – Ukraine’s embassy in Australia said that the only polling station in that country had counted all the votes. The embassy said that 72 people had voted for Poroshenko and 26 for Zelenskiy.
The publication of election results is banned under Ukrainian law before 8 p.m. Kyiv time. The embassy and the Foreign Ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
6:20 p.m. – Ukrainians post photos and videos of the long lines of voters in Ukrainian consulates around the world. The last foreign polling station opened in San Francisco.
5:20 p.m. – Central Election Commission updated the voters turnout data: as of 3 p.m., 45.26 percent of registered voters cast their ballots. It’s 1 percent higher than the number of voters who voted by 3 p.m. in the first round of election on March 31.
5 p.m. – Despite a legal ban on campaigning on the election day, Zelenskiy campaign’s Facebook page has dozens of active ads running on Facebook. The ads call on people to vote and use the campaign slogan. The ads were paid for by an NGO Zelenskiy’s Team (Komanda Zelenskoho). According to Chesno, a civil movement for fair elections, Zelenskiy campaign’s financial report has no mentions of money being transferred to this NGO, alleging there was a financial violation, too.
4:45 p.m. – The polling station in Donetsk Oblast that failed to open in the morning finally opened in the afternoon, according to the Central Election Commission. Nearly 30,000 polling stations operate at the 2019 presidential election.
3:52 p.m. – The Opora election watchdog reported that some polling stations in Volyn Oblast had received fewer ballots than the number of voters there.
3:35 p.m. – As of 3 p.m., voter turnout stands at 44.82 percent, according to the Central Election Commission. The figure is based upon data from 23 regions and the city of Kyiv.
3:23 p.m. – Police have come to Zelenskiy’s campaign headquarters and written the candidate a citation for publicly displaying his ballot to journalists earlier today when he voted, which is considered illegal campaigning. After the citation is sent to court, Zelenskiy will be required to pay a fine of $19-28.
After police informed him that he would be cited and fined, Zelenskiy said, “Okay, I broke the law. The law is the law.” The Zelenskiy campaign said that the fine would be paid as soon as it is issued.
2:48 p.m. – The Opora watchdog reported that the number of ballots submitted to three polling stations at prisons in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast exceeded the number of voters there by three times.
1:50 p.m. – Employees stopped an intoxicated woman who tried to eat a ballot at a polling station in Kryviy Rih, according to Inna Ivanchenko, a member of a local election commission.
1:20 p.m. – Leonid Kuchma, the second president of Ukraine and the only one so far who was re-elected for second term, voted in Kyiv. In a statement put out by his spokes woman, Kuchma said he felt sorry for the next president because Ukraine was in dire straits.
“(The next president) should promise less and do more,” Kuchma was quoted as saying.
12:40 p.m. – President Petro Poroshenko voted at a polling station in the House of Officers in central Kyiv. Like in the first-round election, he came to the polling station with his family, and had his grandson help him throw the ballot in the box.
Poroshenko said that he spent the morning at the church service at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv. On April 21, Orthodox Christians celebrate the Palm Sunday.
Poroshenko called on everyone to vote smartly.
“It can be funny at first but it will hurt later,” Poroshenko said, hinting at his competitor, comedian Zelenskiy.
11:50 a.m. – 17 percent of registered voters cast ballots as of 11 a.m., according to Ukraine’s Central Election Commission. This is a little higher than in the first-round vote on March 31, when 16.6 percent voted by 11 a.m. Voters in Zaporizhia and Poltava oblasts are the most active, while the least activity is observed in Zakarpattia Oblast.
11:30 a.m. – A pregnant protester who appeared to represent Femen protest group showed up near the polling station where Zelenskiy voted. She shouted “stop raping the country” and had “a pig in a poke” written on her chest.
11:15 a.m. – Comedian actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy who is running for president voted in the presidential election in Kyiv. Zelenskiy showed who he voted for, which he is not supposed to reveal according to Ukrainian law. His wife Olena Zelenska voted with him.
Zelenskiy said that in the morning he had breakfast with his family and listened to the music of Eminem to prepare for the day.
10:30 a.m. – Election watchdog Opora reports multiple violations across Ukraine. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast there were a few attempts to vote without showing a passport, while in Khmelnytskyi Oblast one person voted without showing a passport, a violation of the electoral law. In Vinnytsia Oblast a number of people were also able to vote without showing their passports.
10:09 a.m. – One polling station did not open in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast, according to Serhiy Knyazyev, head of the national police. 680 people will not be able to vote.
8:45 p.m. – Yevhen Perebyinis, ambassador of Ukraine to the Czech Republic, posted on Twitter a photo of Ukrainians lined up to vote in Prague “30 minutes before the opening of the polling station.”
8:33 a.m. – Election watchdog Opora says that there are not enough ballot boxes at three polling stations in Khmelnytsyi Oblast. Voters will only have one ballot box at each of the three polling stations.
8 a.m. – Polling stations opened in Ukraine at 8 a.m. on April 21. The vote takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There is no online voting.
7:58 a.m. – Election watchdog Opora reported the first violations. One of Opora’s observers was blocked from a polling station commission’s morning meeting in the city of Yahotyn, Kyiv Oblast.
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter