Comedian Vladimir Zelensky with a record score won a victory over Petro Poroshenko in the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine. DW about why the country believed him, and that she will.
After the elections of the President of Ukraine has set several records. If the official results of the second round, which was held on Sunday, April 21, will confirm the data of exit polls, now the former comedian and showman Vladimir Zelensky received about three-quarters of the vote. This has not happened in almost 30 years of independence of today’s Ukraine.
Another record – the speed at which Zelensky won the presidency. Announcing new year’s eve about his intention to run for election, he’s already 31 Mar won the first round with 30 percent, and after three weeks in the second round improved their score by 2.5 times. Finally, the third record: the elections were won by not a professional politician, and a rookie, the actor who played the role of a school teacher, who became President in the popular television series “servant of the people”.
What is the secret of success Zelensky
How is it that 41-year-old debutant in politics, announced his candidacy three months before the elections without having a clear program and almost not taking the election campaign got such credibility?
Zelensky result looks surprising at first glance. Ukrainian sociologists years record low level of trust in politicians, especially the President. At the same time, voters have a high demand for new faces. According to the survey conducted by the Kiev international Institute of sociology (KIIS) in April 2018, i.e. one year before the current election, Zelensky had the highest sympathy rating in the list of almost 30 names. To him, a positive attitude, 40% of respondents, same – neutral and negative – 11.
Poroshenko balance was the opposite. The President welcomed approximately 10 percent, 13 – neutral, and slightly more than 70 percent negative. Victory Zelensky – the result of disappointment with the President, frustration, bordering on anger. This was pointed out to himself Zelensky during a debate on the stadium in Kyiv before the second round, when Poroshenko said: “I am not your opponent, I am your judgment.”
Why Poroshenko lost
But there were other reasons. Ukrainians are reluctant to re-elect their leaders. Of the five presidents re-election was only Leonid Kuchma. Poroshenko, according to observers, underestimated the desire for change in society and overestimated their own success, to which he refers, first of all, achievements in foreign policy – visa-free travel and economic integration with the EU.
Domestically, Poroshenko, a growing number of complaints from started after the annexation of the Crimea by Russia forced the Pro-Ukrainian cultural policy, rename, Soviet names of cities, villages and streets to the rise in gas prices and allegations of corruption against his environment. Poroshenko attempt to prove himself in the role of the Supreme commander during the war in the Donbass has not worked, efforts to create an independent Russia a new Orthodox Church has not added his sympathies.
According to most analysts, the campaign Poroshenko look weak, no new ideas in form and content. Zelensky though kept silent and avoided an interview, but successfully made a bid for young people and attracted her attention by using social networking. The debate on the stadium became a new phenomenon for Ukrainian democracy.
Will Zelensky compromise with Moscow?
Poroshenko has lost the support of the Ukrainian areas in the heart of the country, whose influence grew after the loss of Crimea and part of Donbass. This applies to the most populous region – Dnipropetrovsk. Perhaps a high score Zelensky there is the factor of the countryman, because he is a native of Krivoy Rog, the second largest industrial city region. The maximum support he received in Russian-speaking areas in the South and East of Ukraine – was won by the candidates, in favour of rapprochement with Russia.
How to behave in relations with Moscow Zelensky, is one of the biggest tests of his presidency. While he is terse and speaks of the commitment to continue the course towards European integration. But critics expect a more compromising tone in the negotiations with the Kremlin, which, he hinted Zelensky. One of the key points is the fate of frozen Minsk agreements on reintegration in Ukraine, separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The main risk Ukraine won Zelensky
To move this process forward and to carry out other reforms, Zelensky will need a majority in Parliament. Parliamentary elections scheduled for autumn. Sociologists predict his newly created party “public Servant” leadership, but much will depend on the first months of the new President and who he will bring into the government. The outgoing head of state has said he will remain in politics and will defend what it considers its achievements. “The new President will be a strong opposition,” Poroshenko promised.
One of the main risks for Ukraine after the victory Zelensky seem to be the threat of a new confrontation in the society. The election opened old line split conditional Pro-Western and Pro-Russian camps, adding a new – environment, Pro-Western camp, there are supporters and opponents Zelensky. Another risk is that the growing influence of oligarchs, which critics of the future President attributed to his inexperience. After the first round Petro Poroshenko has publicly stated that it believes the puppet Zelensky Igor Kolomoisky. Himself Zelensky any political ties with the disgraced oligarch denied.
Finally, a serious challenge for the new President is a high level of expectations and hopes of the population for a rapid improvement of life. However, unlike its predecessors, Zelensky, according to him, is ready to be President only one term.
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