Update: Ukrainians abroad vote in presidential election
The Associated Press03/31/19, 07:32
The Latest on Ukraine’s presidential election (all times local):
Ukrainian citizens living in Poland are lining up to vote in their country’s presidential election.
It is the first Ukrainian election since the arrival in recent years of large numbers of Ukrainian workers and students seeking higher wages and better opportunities in the neighboring European Union country.
People lined up at the embassy in Warsaw and at three other consular points across Poland on Sunday and cast their ballots, choosing from a field of 39 candidates.
Igor Isajew, editor of a news portal for Ukrainians in Poland, PROstir.pl, said that many other Ukrainians in Poland remain unable to vote because they live too far from the polling stations.
While there are no opinion polls tapping into the views of Ukrainians in Poland, Isajew sees signs that a higher percentage of Ukrainians in Poland than in Ukraine favor incumbent Petro Poroshenko due to his pro-European credentials, despite corruption allegations.
Voters in Ukraine are casting ballots in a presidential election after a campaign that produced a comedian with no political experience as the front-runner and allegations of voter bribery.
Opinion polls have shown Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who stars in a TV sitcom about a teacher who becomes president after a video of him denouncing corruption goes viral, leading a field of 39 candidates. The polls also had Zelenskiy outpacing incumbent President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the other top candidates, by a broad margin.
Voter Tatiana Zinchenko, 30, cast her ballot for the comedian. She says “Zelenskiy has shown us on the screen what a real president should be like.”
If no candidate secures an absolute majority of Sunday’s vote, a runoff between the two top finishers would be held April 21.