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Poroshenko has zero chances of winning election if it is not rigged — upper house speaker

The election campaign was "dirty and scandalous," Valentina Matviyenko believes

MOSCOW, April 1. /TASS/. Incumbent Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has zero chances to win the presidential election provided that it is not rigged and an administrative resource is not used, Speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko, said on Monday.

"I believe if there is no vote rigging and no administrative resource is used, then the incumbent Ukrainian president has zero chances to win," Matviyenko told reporters.

The election campaign was "dirty and scandalous," she said, noting that there were many cases of using an administrative resource and vote buying.

Matviyenko also said she was surprised that Poroshenko managed to clinch 16% of the vote in the first round, calling the outcome of his policies devastating for Ukraine.

"Five years have passed, five years of the country’s devastation, when Ukraine’s economy has been almost ruined. Over these five years corruption has grown several times, citizens have fallen into poverty when millions of Ukrainians were forced to go abroad to make a living for them and their families, who have become slaves in European countries working nearly for nothing, doing the most difficult job for small wages. This is a civil war instead of dialogue with their own citizens, who did not accept the coup d’etat," the speaker stressed.

Ukraine held the first round of the presidential election on Sunday. With 78.35% of ballots counted, showman and head of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky won 30.41% of the vote, while incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko came in second with 16.06%. The leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Timoshenko garnered 13.23%. The runoff is scheduled for April 21.