KIEV, April 1 — Ukraine held its presidential election on Sunday and a run-off is likely between actor Volodymyr Zelensky and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko as none of the 39 candidates has won a majority.
A national exit poll showed on Sunday that Zelensky and Poroshenko gained the largest number of the votes, the Ukrainian government-run Ukrinform news agency said.
According to Ukrainian law, if no one gets more than half of the vote in the first round, the two candidates with the most ballots are heading for a run-off on April 21.
Voting for the presidential election in Ukraine on Sunday kicked off at 08:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and closed at 08:00 p.m. (1700 GMT). A total of 134,381 law enforcers have been deployed across Ukraine to ensure the elections proceed peacefully.
Zelensky told reporters at a polling station in Kiev on Sunday that he hoped for a “new life” after the election.
“Today, the new life starts in our country. I think the new life is a normal life without corruption, without bribes,” Zelensky said.
Poroshenko told reporters at a polling station in Kiev that the presidential election was well-organized and “the will of the citizens will be preserved.”
He reiterated his polices of bringing Ukraine into the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
No major violations have been recorded in Ukraine’s presidential election till 04:30 p.m. local time (1330 GMT), Central Electoral Commission (CEC) secretary Natalia Bernatska said on Sunday.
“No systemic violations have been registered during the voting. There are isolated cases, but it is normal for any voting in any election,” Bernatska told reporters during a media briefing.
Meanwhile, the press service of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said that till 05:00 p.m. local time (1400 GMT) there were 1,360 reports of violations of the law related to the election process.
Most violations concerned illegal campaigning for certain candidates, taking pictures of the paper ballots and bribery of voters, the ministry said on Facebook.
Ukraine set up some 29,800 polling stations in 199 electoral districts across the country and 101 polling stations abroad for the presidential election, while a total of 420,342 ballot papers had been handed over to the polling stations outside Ukraine, according to the CEC.
With about 29.8 million eligible voters, Ukraine had printed more than 30.4 million ballot papers for the presidential election. – XINHUA