ERR in Kyiv: Ukrainians on a Course for New Disillusionment in Today's Election Winner

(ERR)
5/25/2014 12:54 PM
Category: Politics

Today, of course, is also the Ukrainian presidential election. ERR's correspondent in Kyiv says the public tends to have overly high expectations in the overwhelming favorite to win the election, Petro Poroshenko. But this chocolate magnate is no Willy Wonka, and the honeymoon will be brief, say observers.  

Ukrainian sociologist Jevgeni Kopatko told ETV last night: "It isn't a throne or a presidential chair. It's more like an electric chair. Whoever sits there will face many problems, and that's only the beginning. Many politicians don't understand what an awful situation they will find themselves in."

Director of the think tank Penta, Vladimir Fesenko, said the overblown expectations in the president were also something seen around the time of the Orange Revolution.

"I can predict to you that in a year, there will also be disillusionment with Poroshenko," he said.

But unlike many others who supported Euromaidan protests, the oligarch Poroshenko is seen as someone who could work with Moscow, said ERR's Astrid Kannel from Kyiv.

"Moscow is exploring the new opportunities itself, because the situation isn't easy for Russia either. There is this mutual feeling out each other. Russia has evidently realized that the elections are happening and that they will be recognised in the West and it wouldn't lead anywhere for Moscow to keep on insisting that the president elected is not the Ukrainian president," Kannel said.

Poroshenko's main rival, former political prisoner (and ex-PM) Yulia Tymoshenko has pledged a new revolution if she doesn't win, noted Kannel. But she overlooks the fact that "60 percent of Ukrainians don't trust her," said Fesenko.

While the east smoulders in a low-level civil war, the encampments on the central square, Maidan, are still there. Not only that, but new structures are going up as well within the tent city.

Monday is also the election for mayor of Kyiv, with boxing legend Vitali Klichko expected to win. He has promised to clean up the city center. For many protesters, though, Maidan is their new home, the locus of a struggle against an enemy that is actually hundred of kilometres away.


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