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Ballot boxes in Ukraine opened, comedian leads polls

In Ukraine, Sunday morning the ballot boxes opened for the presidential election. Interestingly enough, the 41-year-old comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to the polls the most likely to the first round of voting to win.

Zelenskiy takes on the incumbent president Petro Porosjenko and former prime minister Yulia Tymosjenko, who in 2011 was condemned for abuse of power. This was seen by the EU as a political condemnation.

It is not expected that any of the three mentioned candidates Sunday, more than half of the votes going to get. This will mean that on 21 april a second round of voting will take place to determine who is the new president of Ukraine. In total 39 candidates participate in the elections.

It is the first presidential election in Ukraine since the restless change of leadership in 2014. At stake is the leadership of a country in the east for five years a war is raging, and of which, in 2014, the Crimea was annexed by Russia.

Investors will be with great interest to watch whether the new president’s reforms will undertake, which are crucial to fulfil on foreign financial flows. Since the annexation of Crimea, the EU, the United States and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Ukrainian economy sustained.

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How a comedian possible president is in Ukraine

Satire is possible in reality

The popularity of Zelenskiy is largely due to a komedieserie in which he is a teacher plays, and eventually president of Ukraine. Continue with the actor himself as pro-EU, but also as someone who has the relationship with Russia and wants to recover. He is also very active on social media, something that many young voters can relate to.

Also promises of Porosjenko to put an end to the Oekraïneconflict and frustration of Ukrainians about a low standard of living and widespread corruption, have opened the door for Zelenskiy. In addition, it hoped many people that Porosjenko them to economic progress and less closed politics would lead.

The current president has in his campaign more strongly for the Ukrainian language and the creation of a new independent orthodox church. Also, he rolls himself up as the man who will prevent that Ukraine is again a Russian vassal state is

Tymosjenko brings her voice out. (Photo: AFP)

‘Elections will change little to the situation on Crimea’

The presidential elections will probably do little to the situation on the Crimea since the Ukrainian political elite there are strange enough interest in the current status quo, said Russia and Oekraïnekenner Nicolaas Kraft van Ermel two weeks ago against NU.nl.

According to him, the Ukrainian political landscape “actually quite funny”. “Political parties on the basis of ideology, such as in the Netherlands, there are not. Politicians are tied to an elite of oligarchs who actually has the power, and especially in the especially the economic interests of their broodheren,” said Kraft van Ermel. The important energy sector in the country is still in the hands of a small group of oligarchs.

Salient detail is that the station that is the series of Zelenskiy broadcast ownership is a multi-billionaire oligarch, who is also the opponent is Porosjenko. Zelenskiy has, however, specify that he is not a puppet of the oil industry.

Current president Petro Porosjenko is the media word, after he has cast his vote in Kiev. (Photo: AFP)

See also:
Five years after the annexation of The Crimea: ‘Conflict is an armed truce’

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