Elections in Ukraine can end in complete surprise | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

20 June, Thursday

Elections in Ukraine can end in complete surprise

Ukrainian expert Vadim Tryukhan talks to Eurasia Diary

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Next presidential elections will be held in Ukraine on March 31. Moscow TV channels actively follow the ongoings. Ukrainian political commentator Vadim Tryuhan answered questions of Eurasia Diary.


- Is it possible to give a forecast today about the winner of the elections? Or to say how many tours are expected?

- In Ukraine, the seventh presidential election is more competitive than ever before. And it’s not just the number of candidates (39), but also that 3 days before the elections no one can certainty predict who will go to the second round. Real chances still have at least 5 candidates: Boyko, Hrytsenko, Zelensky, Poroshenko and Tymoshenko.

Previously, there was always a struggle between candidates from the government and from the opposition, it was always understood who was the first two favourites. It is too early to predict someone's victory. I would like to see Smeshko, Hrytsenko and Bezsmertnyi in the second round, apart from Zelensky who is now more popular than the rest of the applicants.

Why precisely one of them? Because they are the most prepared for the work of the President of a belligerent country and the most honest with their compatriots. And who will be in the second round on the election results, we will find out on April 1.


- What are the chances of the current president P. Poroshenko? As it is known, Zelensky the comedian leads in the ratings.

- The probability of a change of power in Ukraine is quite high. This situation is due to too high level of distrust of Ukrainians towards President Poroshenko — over 70%. Despite the unprecedentedly intense election campaign, he did not manage to regain the trust of voters.


- How can Ukrainian-Russian relations change if Ukraine determines the new president of the country?

- Whoever becomes the next president of Ukraine, Poroshenko, Zelensky, Hrytsenko or someone else, there will be a change in relations with Russia.

There is hope that negotiations on finishing the war in the east of Ukraine will be more effective. Although this hope is weak, since the Kremlin has so far no political will to exit the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas. Regarding Crimea, the prospects for resolving the issue are not yet a prelude to the outcome of the elections. This is a long-running problem.


- Can Russian propaganda and television influence the choice of Ukrainians?

- Ukrainian viewers have already developed immunity against Russian propaganda. As it was at the end of 2013 - the beginning of 2014, RosPropagadTV does not affect the brains of our citizens. Moreover, it can be assumed that the effect will be the opposite.


- What can the new president of Ukraine offer Russia in order to come to an agreement with Russia on real peace?

- During negotiations with Russia, no one will trade in independence and sovereignty. Therefore, they will be difficult and long with any new President of Ukraine. But the key to success is a powerful coalition of states supporting Ukraine. There are no political leaders in the world who do not understand what the current Putin regime is like. However, no one wants war either. Therefore, using the “carrot and stick” method, by common efforts, Russia can be gradually returned to a civilized framework of behavior towards other countries, including Ukraine and Azerbaijan.


-  Which of the candidates what if win at the elections will accelerate Ukraine’s path to NATO?

For Ukraine, the question of joining the EU and NATO is a matter of survival. Therefore, whoever becomes the next President will have to make serious adjustments to the institutional mechanism for ensuring the execution of this task, as well as to improve personnel policy. In addition, we must not forget that in order to move forward, it is necessary to show success in domestic policy - anti-corruption activities, economic development, etc.

The problem is that Ukraine is a parliamentary-presidential republic in the form of government. The president alone cannot prepare the country for joining NATO, let alone joining the EU. It is the task of the government and parliament. Therefore, it is vitally important for the President, who would not become them, to get a loyal majority in parliament and the government, according to the results of the autumn elections. This is the task he will have to perform, starting from the first day at the office.


Vadim Valeryevich Tryukhan - Ukrainian diplomat, the director of the Coordinating Bureau for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration in 2008-10.



Interviewed by Kamal Ali

Eurasia Diary

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