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Ukraine president wants to discuss coalition with Voice party

22 July 2019

Ukrainians on Sunday went to the polls to elect a new parliament as comedian-turned-president Volodymyr Zelenskiy seeks to bring in political novices and consolidate his power.

Zelenskiy is expected to look first for a coalition partner in the party of Vakarchuk, the 44-year-old lead vocalist of one of Ukraine's most successful rock bands, Okean Elzy.

On Sunday, a snap parliamentary election is taking place in Ukraine. "We will do everything we promised", he said in a speech at the headquarters of the Servant of the People party.

Former President Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity party is projected to win 8.5% to 8.9% of votes.

Pop singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk's Voice Party is set to receive 6% to 6.5% of the vote.

"I think that all legislative initiatives will be implemented".

A senior member of the Voice party separately said it was open to an alliance with new political forces provided they were not backed by oligarchs.

The Western-backed country of 45 million people has gone through two popular uprisings in two decades and is still mired in the conflict with eastern separatists that has claimed some 13,000 lives.

The new government will also need to implement reforms agreed with worldwide donors to secure billions of dollars of new loans to keep the economy stable.

He told reporters "at last, we must take away immunity". The 112 Ukraine TV channel is broadcasting the election. Zelenskiy insists he is not beholden to Kolomoisky and will not take his side in a dispute with the state over control of Ukraine's biggest bank.

Often tie-less and speaking to voters through social media videos, Zelenskiy has carried his informal style from the campaign trail to the presidency.

"It is one of the first bills to be considered because there will be many draft laws on the first day..."

Kateryna, a 31-year-old Kiev woman on maternity leave, said she cast her vote for Vakarchuk because she "believes in his young intelligent team".

In parliament, he would like to see "young people, as everyone is exhausted of professional politicians who have been sitting there for ages".

Ukraine president wants to discuss coalition with Voice party