Ukraine's rock star set for talks with Zelenskiy

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
Istanbul
Published 23.07.2019 00:21

Ukraine's comedian-turned-president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, is set to control an absolute majority in parliament, while being ready for talks with another new political force, the Golos (Voice) party of rock star Svyatoslav Vakarchuk.

Under Ukraine's mixed election system, Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party won by a landslide in both party-list voting and in constituencies, preliminary election commission data showed following Sunday's snap election, allowing it to control most of parliament's 450 seats. It would be the first time since Ukraine won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 that most members of parliament belong to one political party.

Sunday's election result is the culmination of a stunning turnaround in Ukrainian politics and will bring a host of newcomers into parliament and government. The new pro-Western party, Voice, also passed the 5 percent threshold to enter parliament. Voice is the only party to which Zelenskiy has offered coalition talks. Servant of the People party chief Dmitry Razumkov said yesterday that the party was "open for dialogue" with forces that share a similar "basic vision for our country."

Zelenskiy's victory in April was seen as a rejection of the country's traditional elite for failing to end the separatist conflict, revive the economy or tackle widespread corruption. Faced with a hostile parliament after his win, Zelenskiy had quickly called a snap election and vowed to bring in a new generation of politicians to lead the country.

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