Moscow (CNN)Television comedian Volodymyr Zelensky seized headlines when he swept Ukraine's presidential elections in May. Now the Ukrainian president appears set to dramatically refashion the country's political landscape.
Ukraine's comedian president won big in parliamentary elections. It will strengthen his hand against Putin
According to preliminary results posted Monday by Ukraine's Central Election Commission, Zelensky's Servant of the People party looks poised to win a possible outright majority in parliamentary elections that were held Sunday.
According to the CEC, his newly formed party won 42.5% of the party-list vote, well ahead of several other parties that need to pass the 5% threshold to gain seats in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament. And his party also appears to be sweeping up votes in individual constituencies, racking up another 125 seats.
The results are not final: As of Monday morning, around 55% of the votes had been counted. But it no longer appears that Zelensky will need to enter into a coalition to form a government.
And that represents a stunning turn of events in this fractious post-Soviet republic.
For starters, it's a clean slate. Zelensky, a political newcomer, was previously known as the star of a television series in which he played an accidental president.
That series -- called Servant of the People, and the inspiration for his party's name -- underscored Ukrainian frustrations with politics as usual. Zelensky played a schoolteacher who vaults to the country's top office after his anti-corruption rant goes viral.
If the projected results stand, Zelensky will be the first president since the country's independence in 1991 to be backed by a parliamentary majority. And that gives him a clear mandate when it comes to tackling Ukraine's biggest problems: Corruption, a struggling economy, and a simmering war with pro-Russian separatists in the country's east.
Since independence, Ukraine has been beset by kleptocracy and political turmoil. It has seen two major popular revolutions: The pro-democratic Orange Revolution of 2004-2005 and the Maidan Revolution of 2014, which led to the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych and set in motion Russia's annexation of Crimea and the separatist conflict in the east.