Listen: Comedian Zelenskiy leads poll in Ukraine presidential election
"The presidential election in Ukraine will take place on the thirty first of March. And there are now forty four contenders. Including the incumbent, petro partial to people called Y tu Michenko, one of him used to be the prime minister on the comedian who plays the president in poplar Ukrainian television program. Let's hear from Christopher Mila journalists in Kiev, Krista. Thanks for joining us. I can we start with this comedian Vladimir Zilenski who is he. Alinsky is a very very popular. Funny, man, comedian TV show actor and stand up comedian. He actually leads a comedy group here that tours around the country and has been doing so for many years, and he kind of earned his fame that way and eventually led to a television program, which is called servant of the people in which he plays history teacher who becomes president overnight after a video of him kind of railing against corruption goes viral online, and he he becomes he becomes president and works over the course of the first season to root out corruption and plays this kind of honest character. And he's now going to piggy backing off of off of that that character that he plays in his own campaign. And he's he's he's kind of saying that, you know, I'm parallel to this to this. Character which equals vessel, and he saying that called Baroda and Zilenski are more or less the same kind of person. And it seems to be working because he's currently at the top of of of all independent polls in Ukraine, and and and certainly is shaping up to do very well in the first round of elections. So he's campaign line as you say is that he says the value of the man he pays on television. Does does he stand for anything else? What else is he is? He pro you know, that's one thing that he's very unclear about, you know, interestingly in place of providing specifics, and and more or less a platform. He's actually been using his large following on social media to more or less crowd source his platform and his perspective cabinet. Should he be elected president? So just two days ago actually yesterday morning. He. Posted a video of himself. Speaking to his two point seven million followers on Instagram saying, aren't you? Tired of presidents appointing. They're cronies to positions of power. Why don't you tell me who you would like to see for the prime minister of Ukraine, the position of the chief of the security service in defense ministry in foreign ministry. So he's kind of taking this this populist approach and appealing to Ukrainians who are more less rather more disenchanted with old faces in politics and are looking for new faces. And what about the incumbent PECH Persian has become more popular again recently? It's not. Yeah. You know, after after slipping in the polls late last year, you had a couple of pretty big political winds in January February the first being the formation of the new independent Ukrainian Orthodox church. And this is this is a new church that is broken away from the Russian Orthodox church. And you know, it was more more of a sort of nationalist move. And that that really gave him a bump in the polls in January. The second thing was was just a couple of weeks ago when he managed to get parliament to a two to approve an amendment to Ukraine's constitution to include the countries aspirations to join the EU in NATO and following those two victories. He he did see a bump in the polls that put him above the former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko and just behind Vladimir Dolinsky. So he's he's been writing a pretty nice way for the past couple of weeks. The real challenges is going to be to to carry that for the next thirty days until until the election and actually took a bit of a head overnight. When a group of investigative journalists published."