The Latest: Ukraine’s president outlines main priorities

International

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, right, and his wife Olena Zelenska cast their ballots 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 (AP) — The Latest on Ukraine’s parliamentary election (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Ukraine’s president, buoyed by an exit poll showing his party taking the largest share of votes in parliamentary elections, says fighting corruption and establishing peace in the war-wracked east will be the country’s top tasks.

An exit poll showed Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party getting about 44% of the nationwide party-list vote on Sunday, distantly followed by four other parties crossing the 5% threshold necessary to get seats.

Zelenskiy said “this shows great trust by the people of Ukraine to our party.”

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.”

More than 13,000 people have been in a five-year war with Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

___

8 p.m.

An exit poll in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections shows the party of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy getting 43.9% of the nationwide vote.

The poll, conducted Sunday by the Razumkov analytical center and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, covers only the seats being chosen by party list, Of the 424 seats in contest, 199 are for individual constituencies.

In a distant second, with 11.5% of the vote, was the party of tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an advocate of offering autonomy to areas controlled by Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Three other parties exceeded the 5% threshold to win seats, according to the poll.

The poll surveyed 13,000 voters at 300 polling stations across the country. It claims a 2.5% margin of error.

___

1:10 p.m.

Ukraine’s president says one of the first tasks of the country’s new parliament should be to consider a lifting a law granting immunity from prosecution for members of parliament.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy made the comment Sunday after casting his ballot in the early election to choose a new Verkhovna Rada parliament.

Zelenskiy took office in May, riding a wave of dissatisfaction over Ukraine’s endemic corruption. Parliamentary immunity is widely seen as contributing to corruption.

He told reporters “at last, we must take away immunity.”

Pre-vote polling showed Zelenskiy’s party getting the largest share of support in the election, but it is unclear if that will result in winning a majority of parliament’s 424 seats.

___

8 a.m.

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.

Polls ahead of Sunday’s balloting showed Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People party getting support from a little more than half of those who intended to vote. But only 225 of the 424 seats to be filled in the Verkhovna Rada parliament are being chosen by party list; the rest are single-mandate seats, whose distribution could differ from nationwide sentiment.

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.

His “Servant of the People” party — named after the television comedy in which he played a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president — is supported by 52% of the Ukrainians who intend to vote, according to the Kiev International Institute of Sociology.

A party led by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates, tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk, is polling in second place with about 10%, followed by the European Solidarity party of former President Petro Poroshenko, whom Zelenskiy defeated in a landslide in the country’s presidential election.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Don't Miss

Community Calendar