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Comedian frontrunner in Ukrainian presidential election

by fjallstrom Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 03:20:17 PM EST

In todays news:

Tension escalates after Russia seizes Ukraine naval ships

Russia has fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels off the Crimean Peninsula in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries.

Two gunboats and a tug were captured by Russian forces. A number of Ukrainian crew members were injured.

Each country blames the other for the incident. On Monday Ukrainian MPs are due to vote on declaring martial law.

(My bold)

If one is a bit conspirational minded, one might reflect on how this conflict and the declaration of martial law reflects on the upcoming Ukrainian elections. And then one starts checking the polls, and it gets interesting.

In 2019, Ukraine has presidential elections in March and parliament elections in October.

In the parliament elections Tymoshenko's party Fatherland is running first in the polls, with the Petro Poroshenko bloc, the Opposition bloc (formerly Party of Regions) and Servant of the People jocking for second position.

In the presidential elections the polls has the same configuration for the first round with Tymoshenko in the lead and Poroshenko, Boyko (for Opposition Bloc) and Zelenski (for Servant of the People) competing for the run-off. In the second round polls Zelenski beats the others most of the time.

The other roles looking fairly familiar with the usual cast of Ukrainian oligarchs, but then who is Zelenko and what is Servant of the People? Zelenko so far only shows up in polls, he has no page on english wikipedia, and is not a declared candidate.

As it turns out Zelenko is the star of the comedy show hit Servant of the People featuring a teacher who accidentially gets elected president. Reading reviews, I get an impression of a cross between Dave and Yes, minister.

Apparently, an every day man playing president is not only a hit script on Ukrainian television but is to a large part of the voters looking better then the other options.

I know, it is a stretch calling him the frontrunner. But if French and English media could declare Macron the frontrunner (and in so doing helping him win) by taking a very selective look at the polls, so can I. After all, can he really be worse then the other options?

(Yes, obviously he could, but I'm hoping he isn't.)

by fjallstrom on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 03:23:41 PM EST
HE might not try to imprison his opponents after he wins.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 28th, 2018 at 01:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... and risk getting his show cancelled ? (military coup?)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Nov 28th, 2018 at 07:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has halved his proposal for martial law in the country to 30 days, an apparent concession to opponents.

The reduction means that Ukrainian authorities can call the presidential election at the end of December, giving enough time for it to take place at the end of March as expected.

Mr Poroshenko said in a televised address that he has decided to cut the suggested time frame from 60 days.
His original proposal was criticized by opponents as an attempt by Mr Poroshenko to scrap the elections at a time when his own approval ratings are low

[26 November 2018 15:53]

In a related development, Ukraine's biggest state-run bank says an arbitration court in Paris has ruled that Russia must pay £1 billion in damages for property seized in the annexation of Crimea.

The press service of Oshchadbank said the court ruled in the bank's favour on Monday, and the bank will now take "all possible measures" to get the money back from Russia.

That could include seizing Russian assets around the world, the bank said [...]

Bank official Andriy Pyshnoho encouraged other Ukrainian companies to seek international arbitration "to restore justice" over property seized in Crimea.

[26 November 2018 16:10]

by das monde on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 04:17:31 PM EST
In the grand scheme of things, 1 billion dollars for the Crimea is not all that bad of a price tag. It's sort of important and all.

Unless they're expecting to seize the assets, and then sometime later get them back when Russia is forced out of the Crimea.

by Zwackus on Wed Nov 28th, 2018 at 12:14:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Won't anyone think of the IMF? The "tranches"? And that EFTA?

IMF approves $17bn Ukraine bailout package
Ukraine secures new [?!] $3.9 billion IMF deal after gas price hike

I for one look forward with interest to the Chocolate King's "act".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 05:35:41 PM EST
Given the number of current governments that are outright jokes, Ukraine may just be trying to get ahead of the curve.
by rifek on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 07:06:36 PM EST
From my diary - Poroshenko Doing a 'Gulf of Tonkin' Provocation .

Embattled president of Ukraine attempt to get in favor with the political leadership in the White House after two difficult years under Republican leadership and a surprise president Trump election in 2016. Could Poroshenko under guise of martial law postpone the next elections he is about to lose? Of course he is our [the Western alliance] culprit so the EU, US and NATO will stick with him and his cronies.

Ukrainians Protest as Gas Dispute Leaves Scores Freezing | US News - Nov. 13, 2018 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 26th, 2018 at 08:55:30 PM EST
I'm curious. Does THIS mean the Ukraine is about to have rather chilly winters from now on?

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Wed Dec 5th, 2018 at 08:18:03 PM EST

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