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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Image Credit: Reuters

Kiev: The party of Ukraine’s president was on track Monday to win an absolute majority in parliament, a first in the country’s modern history that would hand President Volodymyr Zelenskiy a clear mandate for change.

Zelenskiy, a popular comedian and political novice who was elected in April, pushed for a snap election that was held Sunday. He argued that the allies of former President Petro Poroshenko who dominated parliament were hampering his reform agenda.

With more than 70 per cent of ballots counted Monday, his party, Servant of the People, had 42.7 per cent of the vote. In addition, results showed his allies winning in at least 125 of the 199 single-mandate constituencies, in which voters cast ballots for individuals, not parties.

The landslide win would give Zelenskiy the go-ahead to fight corruption, to try to bring peace to Ukraine’s separatist-controlled east, and to fix the country’s stagnant economy without needing to forge a coalition with other political players.

Lawmakers in the outgoing parliament earlier this year didn’t let Zelenskiy appoint key Cabinet ministers or fire government officials tainted by corruption.

The new parliament should focus on legislation to fight corruption, cleanse the courts system and scrap the law that makes deputies immune from criminal prosecution, Servant of the People leader Dmytro Razumkov told reporters Monday.

Servant of the People was named after the television comedy in which Zelenskiy, 41, played a school teacher who unexpectedly becomes the Ukrainian president.

The next few months are likely to be crucial for him and the party, which will likely have a free hand to appoint top officials and to adopt legislation. On the other hand, Zelenskiy will have no political rivals strong enough on which to blame possible failures.