Ukraine: Defeat for Poroshenko, Volodymyr Zelensky is president

The Ukrainians voted for him to fight corruption.

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Five years ago, the Ukrainians made the surprise move by ousting pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych and electing Petro Poroshenko with a call to fight corruption. Now they have made the surprise again by voting against Poroshenko and electing a new president of the country, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, with the exact same demand.

According to exit polls, Zelensky is elected with 73%, a percentage that has not attracted any other candidate in the recent history of the country.

Poroshenko, who receives 25 percent of the vote, congratulated his political opponent and will step down from the presidency next month, but said he had no plans to leave politics for good. He may have called Zelensky a "virtual politician" because of his complete lack of political experience, but the Ukrainians voted for the actor, ignoring allegations of his close relationship with the oligarch Ihor Kolomozky, on whose television network he worked as a television comedian. huge recognizability (Instagram alone has 3,8 million followers).

Ze, as they call Zelensky, did not follow the habits of the election campaign, as he did not distribute leaflets or give many interviews. The series that made him part of the daily life of many Ukrainians for two years is called "Servant of the People", in which he plays a teacher who suddenly became president, immediately fighting corruption in his country as Zoro and rejecting incompetent politicians. And what happened in the fantasy world of television can now be realized.

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Poroshenko and Zelensky before their debate (photo:

Zelensky's greatest achievement is convincing voters that he has nothing to do with the system of the Ukrainian elite dominated by corruption and the oligarchs. That is why it seems more dynamic and credible in the eyes of many viewers, as it embodies the will for a new beginning that many Ukrainians want. Zelensky promises that as president he will be liberal and pro-European.

Die Welt: Poroshenko was not convinced
As the German writes The World"Ukrainians were also unconvinced by Poroshenko's polarization campaign, which set a nationalist agenda in his campaign by projecting the 'me or Putin' dilemma, even sending the message that he was addressing 'real' Ukrainians: Ukrainians and Christians." On the contrary, Zelensky emerged as a great conciliator, wanting to bring justice to the country with its different cultures and languages. During the election campaign he did not even hesitate to speak Russian - a language often undesirable in Ukraine.

The turning point in Volodymyr Zelensky's election victory will, however, be domestic and foreign policy, and in particular Kiev's relations with Moscow, as many Ukrainians hope it will help consolidate peace with Donbass-speaking Russian Ukrainians.

For Ukraine, the election of Zelensky may mean a new consensus that will bridge the division of the country between the pro-Western side and the pro-Russian East. Now the new president of Ukraine must prove that he can fulfill his vague election promises. He has no party in Parliament and must look for partners until the parliamentary elections scheduled for the autumn.

After all, this will not be the first time in Ukraine that a party is built around a personality. Zelensky hopes for a similar scenario. According to opinion polls, Zelensky's party could win 25% of the vote in the parliamentary elections.

  • Sources: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ, Die Welt