Explainer 158: Ukraines presidential elections: out with the old in with the new?
In two thousand fourteen in a fragile done. Ukraine Petrie Persian came to power in a landslide victory is not only of the president. Future. Monday chief opinion, not forces tried to do my best to defend Ukraine and people to bring security and to bring this five alita once tipped as a pro e u reformist came in. He would end the conflict in east, Ukraine. A matter of weeks is interrupted sizable spot of bother in the first round of the presidential elections. This Sunday Porsche isn't even guaranteed a place in the final run-off for the first time in Ukraine's history. The top two candidates are not clear cut to head of time poll. So far have been volatile results have consistently shown that house of more than thirty candidates? It is neither portion ker know, the fiber and former PM Hewlett Michenko who is stealing the top spot in that place polling with around twenty percent of the votes is actor and comedian Alinsky. Linski zero political experience and know organized party behind him. In fact, the closest come to preparation for the job is playing the role of fictitious president of the people in a popular Ukrainian sitcom yet despite this Porsche anchor and Timoshenko still trail significantly behind. So what's gone wrong? Why has the tide turned against Persian koso- further? And is there any chance it will be reversed in time? After the Ukrainian revolution of two thousand fourteen politically economically and socially, the people showed. It was time for Ukraine to be on par with the rest of Europe. And the hope was pinned on partial. While partial has an outright failed Gwendolyn, SaaS director of the center for east European and international studies in Berlin explains. The trouble of not living up to great expectations. The incumbent Puerto Shangqiu is really tied to the hopes that were societas with the euro my Donald two thousand thirteen and fourteen and he did initiate an important reform process. And also a pro western coasts for the whole of Ukraine, but he also symbolizes all the disappointments. So they hopes were extremely high and the reform process is extremely complex and slow. It has to be slow to certain extent and the electorate now associates also the failures or the slowness of this reform process with him. Aside from sluggish reforms another important sticking point is the ongoing water Ukraine's, east grunted, Putin's idea of Nevada and new pro Russian region in the east and south Ukraine hasn't materialized, but the have been some thirteen thousand deaths since the conflict began and the ceasefire remains fragile further. Still the wall has also fan the flames of militant Ukrainian nationalism formed as a breakaway from volunteer. Military group started in the early days of the war the far right national call have wreaked havoc on partially because recent campaign trail violently protesting presidential rallies with corruption. Acusations this added to the poor living conditions across the country. Makes it clear why Porsche is on shaky ground in Bateson. The freelance journalist in Kiev tells us more about the burdens portion Bess in Ukraine, it's especially difficult not only because the country with active finding a war going on. But also because it's twenty eight year history. They've only reelected and then come to the president once life is very hard for the average Ukrainian salaries are quite low the average monthly wages less than three hundred dollars a month utilities have been going up. So there's a lot of frustration in the country. And of course, gets directed at the president because there's still a belief that the president defines the entire system and that the right person could change that one of partial key reforms which brought him to pal in two thousand fourteen was his commitment to ending the corruption that had plagued the country ever since it became independent from Russia almost thirty years ago, though, he's made substantial anti corruption reforms in important sectors such as gas tax and banking a recent scandal within the defense ministry has tainted his presidency and only reinforced his image as a politician committed to enriching his pals. But it's partially co all that bad his not the only candor under five claims of this ilk, Timoshenko one-stop, the gas Princess has been in and out of water fillings to shady oligarchs politicians for years, and there are even suspicion surrounding newcomers landscape, the TV channel which runs his show is owned by a controversial billionaire and few believed that it's a business connection of no political significance. Gwendolyn SaaS believes the other patches of grass aren't necessarily greener. But if portion could get sin will Ukraine be better off, it is very hard to say one knows what one gets so it will be a continued slow reform process. Whereas with the other two candidates one we really don't know what policies they would focus on one end. Ski has absolutely no an actual program to speak off. So we would see something new with him. That's what he's running on on. Julia Timoshenko claims she roping something new that is highly doubtful. She is not a new petition on the Ukrainian context. So in the west many seaport o'shane cluelessly the easy option to prepare for. But it will also not mean a quick reform process in Ukraine and inexperienced leader like Solent scheme could make Ukraine susceptible to foreign influence, notably that of the Russians who to his credit portion has largely kept it Bain. While Timoshenko's presidential hopes failed to spell out, even one succinct agenda and of time gone by Porsche is not popular. But Ukraine must decide if the unknown will really be any better. Monocle in London patriots.