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    01 april, 2019

    Poroshenko’s presumptuousness could play a cruel joke on him

    Author: Alexander Malkevich, no comments

    Ukraine held a presidential election. Thirty-nine people fought for the head of state’s chair. According to the exit polls ordered by 112 Ukraine and NewsOne channels and conducted by the SORA Institute for Social Research and Consulting (Austria), the Oleksandr Yaremenko Ukrainian Institute of Social Research and the Social Monitoring Center, Volodymyr Zelensky is leading the presidential race with 30.7 percent. The current president, Petro Poroshenko, is trailing far behind his main rival with 18.7 percent but still ahead of Yulia Tymoshenko (13.9 percent).

    The main violations during the Ukrainian presidential elections were documented the day before the vote. The majority of incidents revealed on March 31 were petty and somewhat ridiculous.

    Perhaps the most outrageous incident was the dismissal of Anzhela Makeyeva, multiple European and world champion and medalist, absolute European champion in taekwondo, and Chair of the Kiev Regional Branch of the Ukrainian MMA Federation. The young woman posted a video message on a social network in which she said that when she refused to participate in illegal election schemes, New Faces party Deputy Chairman Petro Shcherbina personally threatened her despite her pregnancy. As Makeyeva’s husband later reported, after all the threats and stress the young woman ended up in hospital.

    A total of 2,467 violations were recorded during the election. The most common violations were taking photographs (144 cases), followed by unlawful campaigning (140 cases). Moreover, there were numerous attempts to bribe voters and damage ballots. There were even bomb scares and attempts to remove ballots from the polling station.

    I am certain that before April 21, when Ukraine will hold the second round, a falsification campaign will unfold. It could happen that Zelensky’s rating will go up to 48 percent and Poroshenko will win with 52 percent thanks to fraudulent technology. That is, he will build up his rating at the expense of his allies from the first round and intimidate some of the voters with claims that “they must not give away the country to an unprepared person.” In this way, he will just scribble in the remaining five or seven percent.

    But technological mistakes may prevent Petro Poroshenko from winning in the second round. Also, Poroshenko’s team has convinced him that he can defeat Zelensky in the debates thanks to his political experience. This is strange though: Zelensky has been on stage live for many years. Poroshenko against Zelensky in the debates may become the most remarkable event in the three-week run-up to the second round. Poroshenko’s presumptuousness could play a cruel joke on him.

    Zelensky’s campaign was strong but if he loses the election it will not be the end of the world for him. He will not have to take responsibility for the country. With his Servant of the People party, he could win the Verkhovna Rada elections next fall, continue campaigning and become the country’s opposition leader who represents the generation robbed of the victory.

    It was also reported that Russian journalists were not allowed to enter the polling station at the Ukrainian Embassy in Minsk. A photojournalist from one of the news agencies was denied access to the polling station before the election day. NTV and REN TV journalists were also turned away from the embassy although they were allowed to film outside and interview Ukrainian citizens.

    I have already said that what is happening in Ukraine is crossing the line. The closer the first round came, the lower the Ukrainian leadership fell. I cannot even imagine the hell that will break loose now, in the run-up to the second round.

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