Ukraine held its first round of presidential elections on Sunday, March 31, with no candidate receiving an outright majority. The second round will be held on Sunday, April 21. According to the Central Election Commission (CEC), Volodymyr Zelenskiy secured 30 percent of the vote, with incumbent President Petro Poroshenko receiving 15 percent and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko 13 percent. According to international observers, the election was broadly free and competitive. Political tensions are expected to remain high in the coming weeks as the Zelenskiy and Poroshenko prepare for the second round of voting. Political rallies and other election-related events are likely to continue nationwide, and associated acts of violence cannot be ruled out. Heightened security measures along the border, particularly with Moldova’s breakaway region Transnistria as well as Russian-annexed Crimea, and around polling station are anticipated in the days leading up to April 21.
Zelenskiy, a comedian and actor, is a political newcomer and was leading in opinion polls leading up to the vote. Poroshenko has seen a drop in popularity in recent months due to graft allegations and ongoing economic challenges.
Individuals in Ukraine, particularly in Kyiv and other major cities, are monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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