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How Ukraine Voted in 2019 Presidential Elections
31 March, 2019

On March 31, millions of Ukrainians cast their votes in the country's presidential elections. We have a record number of candidates this time - 39. Hromadske provide you with live updates on the voting process.

All updates are given in Kyiv time zone (Eastern European Summer Time).

11:00 p.m. It's three hours since the polling stations in Ukraine have closed. According to the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, final exit polls (as of 8 p.m.) suggest votes as follows:

Volodymyr Zelenskiy 30.6%

Petro Poroshenko 17.8%

Yulia Tymoshenko 14.2%

Yuriy Boyko 9.7%

Anatoliy Hrytsenko 7.1%

Ihor Smeshko 6.5%

Oleh Lyashko 4.7%

Oleksandr Vilkul 4%

Ruslan Koshulynskyy 1.7%

8:10 p.m. Comments from the front-runners after release of final exit polls:

· After the final exit polls were announced, Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that "this is just the beginning." At the same time, he stated that no negotiations on association with other candidates had been conducted yet.

· Incumbent Petro Poroshenko said that the candidates had used the media to drag each other through the mud, and above all - the president. "You [the voters] wrecked Russian plans, because they certainly did not want to see Poroshenko in the second round," the head of state told.

· Yulia Tymoshenko’s HQ alleged that exit polls are merely a manipulation tool, just as the pre-election polls. They are convinced that their candidate will win and proceed to the second round [of the presidential election].

· Yuriy Boyko’s HQ also said they were expecting to take part in the second round of elections.

· Anatoliy Hrytsenko is disgruntled about the result. The candidate added that there is no way he would support Poroshenko [in the second round].

8:00 p.m. The polling stations have now officially closed. According to the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, early exit polls (as of 6 p.m.) suggest votes as follows:

Volodymyr Zelenskiy 30.4%

Petro Poroshenko 17.8%

Yulia Tymoshenko 14.2%

Yuriy Boyko 9.8%

Anatoliy Hrytsenko 7.1%

Ihor Smeshko 6.4%

Oleh Lyashko 4.8%

Oleksandr Vilkul 4%

Ruslan Koshulynskyy 1.8%

The final exit polls will be released at 11 p.m.

7:50 p.m. Zelenskiy's team denies any plans to join forces with Yulia Tymoshenko, something Ukrainian MP Mustafa Nayyem previously wrote about on his Telegram channel. 

7:20 p.m. At Zelenskiy's election headquarters, visitors are about to play a quiz "How to better lives." A Hromadske correspondent says there's a bar, a ping pong table and music playing. American journalist Simon Ostrovsky says the headquarters remind him of the U.S. elections, "except there's alcohol, which is weird."

READ MORE: Showbiz to Presidential Candidate: Who is Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy?

7:00 p.m. Ukraine's culture minister Yevhen Nyshchuk has arrived to Poroshenko's election headquarters. Rumor has it that Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman is on his way too.

6:40 p.m. Conducting the exit polls in the first round of Ukraine's 2019 presidential election has cost the sociological groups around $200,000, head of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation Iryna Bekeshkina told Hromadske.

06:30 p.m. Just 1.5 hours to go until the polling stations close in Ukraine.

05:45 p.m.  Police has registered 1,365 applications and communications related to the elections. 17 criminal proceedings have been initiated and eight administrative protocols were made.

05:10 p.m. There are no systemic violations in the elections, Central Election Commission states. Currently, 11 complaints have been received so far by the Commission. It is believed that the voting results will not be influenced by any possible cyber attacks.

05:00 p.m. Several hundred young men came to the Central Election Commission. They claim to represent Kharkiv-based public organization Poton.

What we know nine hours after the polling stations opened:

· 45.02% of voters have voted according to 186 out of 199 districts;

· There are queues to vote in the elections in Prague, Berlin, Paris and Rome;

· The police has viewed the demonstration of filled-in ballot by presidential candidate Oleh Lyashko as a violation of the principle of voter’s secret, though his actions are yet to be qualified by the prosecutor's office. Leader of the Radical Party may be subject to a fine or imprisonment of up to 3 years;

· Police have received 950 allegations of violations in the elections.

04:00 p.m. Police received 950 applications and communications related to the electoral process, 137 of which were in Kyiv. The majority are related to illegal campaigning and photographing ballots. 12 criminal proceedings have been initiated.

03:58 p.m. Central Election Commission informs that almost 45% of voters have voted over the first seven hours. The most active citizens are in Zaporizhzhya region, the least - in Zakarpattya region.

Back in 2014,  40.4% had voted at this hour. The highest turnout was in the Volyn and Rivne regions, and the lowest was in Donetsk.

03:18 p.m. Police qualify the actions of presidential candidate Oleh Lyashko, who earlier showed his filled-in ballot to the journalists, as a "violation of the principle of voter's secret", further handling of the case will be determined by the prosecutor's office. 

02:25 p.m. 16.67% of voters have already voted in the elections. This was reported by the Central Election Commission, according to the information from 198 of 199 districts.

01:22 p.m. Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has voted in the elections.

01:04 p.m. Former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has voted in the election with his wife.

12:49 p.m. Ukraine's former president Leonid Kuchma has voted.

12:30 p.m. The current president, Petro Poroshenko, has cast his vote. He runs in the election through self-nomination.

11:58 a.m. Presidential candidate from the Civil Position party Anatoliy Hrytsenko has voted too now. His spouse and journalist Yulia Mostova was, however, missing from the voter list, despite having allegedly "voted at the same station for the past 18 years". UPDATE: Hrytsenko's wife and journalist Yulia Mostova is, in fact, on the voter list according to Central Election Commission. She has now cast her vote.

11:55 a.m. The following presidential candidates have voted thus far: Yulia Tymoshenko, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Oleksandr Vilkul, Yuriy Boyko and Oleh Lyashko.

READ MORE: International Watchdogs Express Concern Over Who’s Monitoring Ukraine’s Presidential Election

11:06 a.m. Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy has voted.

10:43 a.m. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch visited a polling station in Irpin, which is in the Kyiv region. She spoke to exit polls workers to find out how things were going so far.

10:18 a.m. Presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has voted.

9:59 a.m. Oleksandr Vilkul, presidential candidate from the Opposition Bloc and Yuriy Boyko, the candidate from Opposition Platform - For Life have also voted.

 

9:49 a.m. Ukrainians start voting in Poland. Residents of Australia were the first to vote in the presidential elections. The last polling station to close is located in San Francisco: at 6 am Kyiv time on April 1.

9:20 a.m. The leader of the Radical Party and presidential candidate Oleh Lyashko has voted. He addressed the commission staff as "girls".

READ MORE: Zelenskiy Leads in Last Polls Before Ukraine Election

9:05 a.m. Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epiphanius has cast his vote.

"I chose the candidate, whom I consider worthy to be president of Ukraine," he remarked.

8:50 a.m. Unsurprisingly, the mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko came to vote by bike, Ukrinform reports. He did not share his preference with the journalists, but he hopes that Ukraine would stay true to its course on integration with Europe.

8:18 a.m. Our correspondent from the Kherson region reports that over 5500 Crimeans registered to vote in the election in mainland Ukraine.  400 of those will be voting in the Kherson region.

READ MORE: In Ukraine, No Unanimity Among Experts as Election Looms

8:00 a.m. The polling stations have opened and those in Ukraine can now officially vote.