Listen: What kind of president would Ukraine's comedian candidate make?
"Floods. Alinsky a TV comedy actor pays to be on coast. Unseat president petro Porsche Schenker in the second round of Ukraine's presidential elections this weekend Casey Martin discusses how he got there. And what kind of president he would make Roman audio audiology. Glue. We've just had a clip from a campaign video of Mr. landscape taking selfish with his team what kind of character does he play on TV, and how did he go from acting into politics? Let me start off by saying that Mr. Zielinski is a very funny and talented comedian who strikes the basic emotional courts with average Ukrainians, and I think it's very important to put this into context the country is into a six year of war in far eastern regions where Russian backed separatists, and it's gone through a lot of economic pain during these past years and his performances, including his comedy performances where he mocks politicians is sort of escape a release for the population. That has a lot of anger on various issues from lingering corruption to the economic pain. They're feeling in his popular TV series called servants of the people where he plays a honest schoolteacher who becomes president unexpectedly. He plays a. Character who combat's the oligarchy, it's a very popular widely watched TV show in the country, and it presents sort of the ideal president that the people would like to see in contrast. The current president who has a patchy reform record is an oligarchy himself and in the TV series of until the people. There are episodes, for example, where Mr. Dolinsky playing the role of this on a schoolteacher walks into parliament and imagine himself with automatic guns shooting in killing all the politicians in such scenes are scenes that many Ukrainians who are fed up with corruption. I'm sure would like to see perhaps maybe not in real life. But they would like to see someone who comes into power that really changes the way the system here works. I mean, he's clearly struck a code. But how did he make that transition into real politics in real life? He hasn't made a transition to a sort of a conventional Ukrainian politician Ukrainian still to this day. See him as the character in the TV show. They haven't really seen the real Mr. Lansky in neither have Ukraine's western backers nor even journalists because he hasn't really given a lot of face to face interviews. In depth interviews. He hasn't appeared on the streets doing traditional campaign rallies. And so you cranium seeing him often what they want to see is sort of character, who is honest who is just an average person who is fed up with the system in wants to change it, and that's really the unorthodox campaign that he's run his campaign is focused largely on two fronts mobilizing the youth. Electorate the young generation who see him as one of their own and he targeted them specifically through social media. Meanwhile, we have the television series, which a lot of elderly Ukrainians watch. Is he young and south Hello to say he's forty one years of age. So he basically grew up in independent Ukraine and is not Butte as the same as the current political stablishment. Who are all Soviet born and developed this people partially in the Soviet Union. And during the crony nineteen ninety s where a handful of individuals, amass massive amounts of wealth. So he's viewed as this anti-establishment figure by population which desperately wants big changes and a change from the current establishment with fresh faces. Recent polls have shown that sixty or perhaps more percentage of the population. Want a new face as president and new faces in parliaments a complete overhaul politically service really isn't extraordinary situation, a new sort of campaign, but what his policies how do they differ from his opponent? Petra parish Anka, you're right. It's a very surreal situation in many respects, and it's just astonishing. How popular he's become in a very short period of time since declaring his bid for the presidency on New Year's Eve, which was just several months ago. But in reality, we don't really. We know who he really is in what kind of policies he would bring in how different they would be from portion goes because he has been very short on detail. He is avoided as I've said in depth interviews on foreign policy domestic policy giving very general statements in many ways, the general statements that he's given since a group of several former fficials had joined him as advisors have been along the lines of the current objectively that Ukraine is going on in terms of foreign and domestic policy, which means sticking with the IMF program and with the western-backed support, countering Russian its aggression. So what are the achievements and shortcomings of Mr. putter Shankar as president has he done thing to tackle the corruption that seems to be the biggest concern in seems to be fueling so much enthusiasm for Mr. landscape. Let's remember that Mr. Persian go took power when he was elected with fifty four percent mandate. Just a couple of months after the my Don revolution sent a pro Russian president. Fleeing to Russia and Russia at that time after the revolution. Swiftly annexed Crimea and fomented a war in the far eastern regions of the country since taking over Persian go has rebuilt the army, which was caught flat-footed in the early days of the war under his leadership. That government has achieved. A macro economic stability creating the foundations for a healthier economy across the board. There have been significant reforms in removing the room for corruption in rent-seeking in various sectors of economy, including bringing market level prices to utilities and independence to the central Bank. However, the major shortcoming of Mr. partial go, his political achilles heel has been his foot-dragging on reforms that are needed to punish corruption in forming. A functioning court system to give a little bit of context the court systems in this country. Have traditionally been used by presidents and other top officials as a form of leverage over other politicians. They have not been independent. So it sounds like fuse. Yeltsin for his campaign is rather low for Mr. portion goes, yes, it's been rather low. However, he has made a remarkable comeback though. His chances of reelection seem distant his poll numbers about a year ago were in single digits in the first round of elections on March thirty first he came in second behind Mr. Zilenski, he mustered about thirteen percent support that is a significant increase from the single digit numbers that he had prior to that said gang back to MRs van ski his career has been backed by another oligarchy lives in exile. But owns the TV channel that screens his shows. Tell us about eager Cowboys we ski and why he had to leave Ukraine. Yes eager. Komo's ski is. A very interesting character we had to find out your times interviewed him a couple years back. He was camera shy for many decades, but came out into the open of Ukrainian politics after Russia annexed Crimea. He accepted the job as governor of a region that borders the Br. Takeaway regions in eastern Ukraine that Russian-backed forces in separatists took control over he played a big role in repelling further incursions into the country, and we interviewed him shortly after that and found him to be in some ways of very candid figure, but impulsive and obsessive in clearly one who seeks influence, and he had a big grudge against portion cone, those days what we've seen is that Mr Hallam Whiskas channels have been giving a great amount of airtime to misters Alinsky and his TV series in particular, and this has increased support for misters Alinsky. We also see. There are reports that lawyers that we met in the presence of Mr. Colin Moise are playing a sort of backroom role in advising, Mr. linski. There are reports that bodyguards of Mr. cola Moise have been hired by mister is Alinsky to protect him and other evidence of links. So there is a lot of concern that Mr. linski could be a puppet of Mr. cola Moise as Mr Puerta shaneco claim. Tmz Mr. Zielinski, however has denied this and promises that don't be no special treatment for Mr. cola Moise, who by the way promises to return to Ukraine from Israel where he's in exile, currently after the elections. So he may have some practical backing from Khulumani scape. But if we'd have situation where for example, he wins what sort of policy input. Does he have what kind of backing does he have in that sense much of what we know about Mr. Alinsky is potential policies going forward? Come from a group of former government ministers in officials that have become his advisors. They include the respected former foreign minister of Ukraine Oleksandr done. Luke who was a key official in relations with the IMF. And a former economy minister deliver wanian born Ibarra Abramova choose those two along with another individual who's advising him are saying that the policies will be consistent with the IMF program. And that Ukraine will remain on a pro. Western course, however. What really will happen under his presidency remains a bit of a question because he has not formally announced who will be members of his team who will hold what positions in the government and doubts are big. Because in some of the first comments that misters Alinsky gave to the media after announcing his campaign. He said a lot of things that raised eyebrows. For example, he described IMF loans as to expensive when they are actually some of the cheapest sources of financing that Ukraine can get nowadays. So what's at stake here for Ukraine? Why did he's elections matter? There's an awful lot at stake here for Ukraine Ukraine is on the front lines of Russia's broader war with the west which started in two thousand fourteen with the annexation of Crimea. There's also an awful lot of steak for the west here unpredictable leadership in Ukraine unclear governing could complicate Ukraine's relations with western backers including the multibillion dollar loans that are needed from the IMF their key to propping up this country as it faces. P conformed debt payments this next year. So there's a lot at stake for bondholders in Ukrainian debt, for example, questions about Ukraine's leadership under misters Alinsky. And no one knows very much what to expect for him could also test the transatlantic unity behind Ukraine and Russia sanctions over Moscow's, continued aggression in Ukraine, a vacuum of power in Ukraine, should it occur under his Alinsky leadership or more infighting could also lead to instability that could make the country more vulnerable to further Russian aggression. And let's remember that Russia really seize the moment, tactically annexing, Crimea and formenting a war in eastern regions in the post revolution period of Ukraine in two thousand fourteen when there was no strong vertical of power. So high stakes in a very unpredictable situation. Remers thanks very much. Thank you."