Comedian Zelenskiy keeps Ukraine presidential poll lead


FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian comic actor and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy flashes a victory sign following the announcement of the first exit poll in a presidential election at his campaign headquarters in Kiev, Ukraine March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

KIEV (Reuters) – Comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a political novice who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, has kept his lead in Ukraine’s presidential election race, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

The poll by research body Reiting showed Zelenskiy on 57.9 percent of votes and incumbent Petro Poroshenko on 21.7 percent. Reiting polled 3,000 voters in all regions, except annexed Crimea, from April 12 to 16.

The previous poll made by Reiting in April 5-10 gave Zelenskiy 61 percent of votes while Poroshenko received 24 percent.

Poroshenko and Zelenskiy will meet in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election, which will take place on April 21. Zelenskiy won nearly twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round, on March 31.

Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Gareth Jones

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