According to ERR’s correspondent Astrid Kannel, in Kyiv for the presidential elections, the turnout was high, driven by the perceived desperation of the situation in the country.
Confectionery tycoon Petro Poroshenko, the so-called Chocolate King, claimed victory after exit polls and balloting showed him with more than half the votes in the first round. He will become Ukraine's fifth president.
“Many people here have said that the situation has become so unbearable and so bad that they would even settle for Poroshenko, who is not considered an ideal candidate," Kennel told ETV on Sunday. "They can see that the barricades in central Kyiv have turned into scrap heaps and are more like an embarrassing sight, and the situation in eastern Ukraine is considered hopeless. Ukraine has no army and there is no point in continuing with antiterrorist operations there."
“People believe, perhaps naively to Estonian eyes, that if a man has gotten rich with an honest business, then perhaps he can make Ukraine rich, too, but many analysts stress that after some time has passed the people will also realize that unless the people themselves change and start working more and fighting corruption themselves, there isn’t a lot that one man could do to change it.”
Votes tallied this morning showed Poroshenko leading with 53.98 percent of the votes after 36.02 percent of electronic voting reports have been processed, said the Central Election Commission (CEC).
Yulia Tymoshenko received 13.12 percent, Oleh Liashko won 8.46 percent of the votes, Anatoliy Hrytsenko 5.5 percent, and Sergiy Tigipko 5.12 percent.
Voter turnout was a extremely high, with a 60 percent despite the disenfranchisement of an approximately 20 percent of voters in Luhansk, Donetsk, and annexed Crimea due to violent separatist sabotage and ballot burning.