In nine major cities and regional centers across Ukraine, no presidential candidate has been elected mayor, not even in Kryvi Rih, Volodymyr Zelensky’s hometown, a result far from his and his party’s electoral triumph last year. AFP, according to Agerpres.

His party, the “Servant of the People,” ranked first on city councils in only two major downtown cities, and in seven others it ranks third most frequently, according to two polls.

Ukraine on Sunday elected its mayors and local and regional councilors, a vote seen as a test for Zelensky, a former actor with no political experience, triumphantly elected president in April 2019 on the basis of promises to eradicate corruption and end the war with pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country. Three months later, his newly formed party won more than half of the parliamentary seats, a record for the former Soviet republic of about 40 million people.

In the absence of concrete changes, popular support has diminished and, according to a recent poll, the presidential party is credited with only 17% of voting intentions nationwide, closely followed by the pro-Russian opposition (Opposition Platform – For Life, 14%) and pro-Western (European Solidarity was former President Petro Poroshenko, 13%).

The turnout was about 36% on Sunday, according to the specialized NGO Opora, compared to 47% in the local elections five years ago.

The counting of votes risks taking several days, a new electoral law complicating this procedure, notes AFP.

Elections were not held in Crimea, Russia’s annexed Black Sea peninsula, and in the eastern territories under Russian separatist control.

In Chernivtsi, Roman Kliciuk, from the “Unique Alternative” party, and Vitali Mihailişin, from the “Mihailişin’s Team” party, will participate in the second round of elections for mayor of Chernivtsi, informs the BucPress news agency.

In the first round, Roman Kliciuk obtained 25.15% of the votes, and Vitali Mihailişin 24.28%. Incumbent Mayor Oleksii Kaspruk was third, with 15.58%), followed by the representative of the pro-presidential “People’s Servant” party, Vitali Druganovski, with 11.85%.