On course for election win, Ukraine president offers alliance with rock star's party

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party took a commanding lead in Sunday's snap parliamentary election.
  • Zelenskiy, who was elected in April, has had to deal with a cabinet and lawmakers who are mostly loyal to his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, prompting him to call a snap election to consolidate his power.
  • Zelenskiy said he would invite the staunchly pro-Western Voice party for coalition talks.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's party took a commanding lead in Sunday's snap parliamentary election, handing the novice politician a broader mandate for driving change and tackling corruption in the war-scarred nation.

A TV comedian with no prior policy-making experience, Zelenskiy won a landslide victory in a presidential ballot in April, having cast himself as an everyman outsider who would tackle corruption and raise living standards in one of Europe's poorest countries.

The 41-year-old has had to deal with a cabinet and lawmakers who are mostly loyal to his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, prompting him to call a snap election to consolidate his power.

Exit polls showed his Servant of the People party far ahead of its nearest challenger, although it may fall short of a majority.

A triumphant Zelenskiy said he would invite the staunchly pro-Western Voice party, led by rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, for coalition talks. Vakarchuk's party said it was open to an alliance with new political forces so long as they were not backed by oligarchs.

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