Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky wins the presidential election

Volodymyr Zelensky, 31 March 2019
Volodymyr Zelensky, 31 March 2019. Photo: Ukrinform TV

Volodymyr Zelensky has won the presidential election in Ukraine in the second round against incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, with 73.22% of the vote, against 24.5% to the second. At age 41, he becomes the youngest president of the country. He will take office on May 31st.

Of Russian-speaking origin and deemed closer to Russia than his rival while being pro-European, he is well known in Ukraine for being a TV host, a comedian and a popular actor. Petro Poroshenko was on the contrary deemed close to the European Union and Western countries and fiercely opposed to the Pro-Russian camp. His government was also widely considered corrupt by a large part of the population. Zelensky was elected on an anti-corruption label that is questionable, with the new president being supported by some oligarchs who opposed the former president. A political war that should not stop there. Will he be able to respond to the aspirations of his constituents? Nothing is less sure.

Ukraine is still embroiled in a civil war in Donbass, in the east of the country, orchestrated notably not Russia. The security situation remains fragile, the de facto cease-fire does not prevent frequent sporadic clashes. In addition, the country is facing a veritable haemorrhage of its youth. Poverty and difficult living conditions cause many Ukrainians to leave the country. It is estimated that around 100,000 people emigrate every month!

Share This Post