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Comedian secures comfortable first-round win in Ukraine's presidential elections

•, Sam Meredith

Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV show, secured 30.4 percent of the vote on Sunday, early results showed. Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire magnate and Ukraine's current leader, received 17.8 percent.

With no-one expected to secure a majority when the final results are confirmed later on Monday, the two largely pro-EU candidates are set to go head-to-head in a run-off vote on April 21.

"If I win, we will (have) a strong democratic Ukraine — without corruption," Zelensky told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick in Kiev on Sunday.

"This is the biggest problem," Zelensky said, when asked whether fighting corruption would be a priority under his leadership.

'We don't want war'

In a country on the frontline of the West's standoff with Russia, the electorate has rallied behind an anti-establishment figure promising to combat deep-seated corruption.

Zelensky must now convince voters he is fit to lead a country at war and at the center of the West's tussle with Moscow.

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