What Does Comedian’s Big Win Mean for Ukraine?
Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy won the 1st round of Ukraine’s presidential election and has a strong chance of winning the run-off on April 21. UkraineWorld analysed what his success means for Ukraine.
Zelenskiy will face incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who won just under 16 percent. Zelenskiy’s strong performance caught some off-guard, but the results of the election say at least seven important things about Ukraine.
1. UKRAINE IS A DEMOCRACY
Ukraine is a genuine democracy. Unlike Russia, Ukraine’s elections are loud, messy, and unpredictable. No candidate was confident of victory before the vote. Despite a Russian disinformation campaign to discredit the election as bogus, there was no large-scale fraud.
2. UKRAINE IS NO LONGER DIVIDED BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
Regional divisions used to determine the outcome of Ukraine’s elections. The western and central parts of Ukraine tended to favor “pro-Western” candidates while eastern and southern Ukraine favored more “pro-Russian” ones. The first election after the Euromaidan broke this trend.