Fri, 23 Aug 2019

KYIV -- The party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is on track for a strong showing in snap parliamentary elections according to exit polls as he seeks a mandate to push through reforms

Zelenskiy's Servant Of The People party is set to garner nearly 43.9 percent of the July 21 vote for party lists, according to exit polls as of 6 p.m. local time. Voting ended at 8 p.m.

The early data indicates that Zelenskiy's party may need to form a coalition to reach a majority.

A total of five parties surpassed the 5 percent threshold to win seats in the new parliament.

Opposition Platform, a political party pushing for better ties with Russia, was on track to receive 11.5 percent while European Solidarity, which is allied with former President Petro Poroshenko, is set to get 8.9 percent.

Fatherland, the party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was polling 7.6 percent of the vote and Holos, a startup led by musician Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, was at 6.3 percent. The party exit poll data is in line with pre-election polling.

Under Ukrainian law, half of the seats are distributed according to lists generated by the parties; the other half are distributed to majority winners in districts where there is only a single-member constituency. Exit polls for the single mandates were still not available.

Ukraine's parliament comprises 450 seats. However, only 424 are up for grabs after Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and war in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions saw the loss of several voting districts.

Vakarchuk told RFE/RL after voting that he would be willing to form a coalition.

"Our intention is to influence," Vakarchuk said. "If you are in a coalition, you have much more power, many more possibilities to influence and to change things."

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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