What change forthcoming Ukrainian Presidential Elections can bring?

Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Development Observer. His area of work includes Central Asia, South Asia and Eastern European regions

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Ukraine is going for Presidential Elections within next five days.

These Presidential Elections are second after Euromaidan (Maidan) — a political change in the Ukrainian society that cost disintegration from one peaceful Ukraine into three parts — one occupied by the Russian Federation, second controlled allegedly by the Russian backed separatists and third Ukraine having its capital in Kyiv and waiting for its economic and social integration with Europe.

Scenario

Devaluation of the national currency from 8 Ukrainian hryvnia per 1 USD in November 2013 to almost 27 Ukrainian hryvnia per 1 USD (exchange rate with USD dollar) in March 2019 shows how Ukrainian economy is surviving under tremendous pressures.

Ukraine was known for its steel Industry which is in Eastern Ukraine and this region is no more under the control of Kyiv government.

Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in March 2014 and alleged Russian intervention in Eastern Ukraine caused an armed conflict between the separatist forces allegedly backed by the Russian Federation resulted in formation of self-declared Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR respectively).

Disaster after disaster happened within first four months of 2014. One can say that Ukraine was changed forever within four to five months —- from November 2013 to April 2014.

In the middle of Europe, a country was divided into three parts and the European Union apparently failed to save it from disasters although Maidan was staged by the Ukrainian people to join the European Union against the instructions of the Russian Federation — What a heavy cost the Ukrainian people paid for implementing their innocent desire.

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Meanwhile, the United States also apparently failed to help Ukraine and Victoria Nuland, the former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, who used to distribute breakfast burgers among protestors of Maidan actually could not help the Ukrainian people in the aftermath when former President Viktor Yanukovych ran away to his safe heaven — Russia although she was tirelessly working to help Ukraine for finding right choice for Ukraine after Yanukovych’s ouster. Her alleged recording of a phone call with the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, came on surface on February 4, 2014 on YouTube in which she was allegedly deciding how to move ahead without waiting for the European Union to decide the fate of Ukraine.

War in Donbas is bleeding Ukraine and victims are mostly young and promising boys and girls who are sacrificing their lives for their Motherland.

Recently, the National Guard of Ukraine marked its fifth anniversary and released data on Facebook which indicates that 34,495 guardsmen had taken part in the Donbas war, 1,364 had been given state awards, in particular 188 posthumously. There are three Heroes of Ukraine (posthumously): Major General Serhiy Kulchytsky, Lieutenant Bohdan Zavada, soldier Yevhen Telnov. Currently, the National Guard of Ukraine has 45,000 members and the law provides for an increase, if necessary, to 60,000 people.

Elections

As many as 34,544,993 registered voters of Ukraine will elect their new President on March 31, 2019.

Sitting President Petro Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are among 39 candidates running for elections on March 31, 2019. However, a new entrant Volodymyr Zelensky is beating both veteran politicians in public polls.

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Volodymyr Zelensky is a screenwriter, actor and director of Ukrainian film studio Kvartal 95. He announced his candidacy on December 32, 2018 and became frontrunners in opinion polls for the election. Zelensky played the role of President of Ukraine in a television series “Servant of the People”. His political party “Servant of the People” was created in March 2018 by people from the TV production company Kvartal 95 who also created the TV series of the same name.

Apparently, Petro Poroshenko has an edge over his competitors including Yulia Tymoshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky because he is the sitting President and runs the government.

Allegations and counter allegations are part of any election process in the world and Ukraine is also going through the same phase and only results will determine what would be come next for Ukraine?

Hopes

A common Ukrainian wishes only peace, stability and better future for Ukraine and youth is waiting the results because youth still has an option to fly out of the country for seeking jobs and for their better future if forthcoming elections fail to bring stable economy and peace to this beautiful, hardworking, well-educated and honest nation.

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Dispatch News Desk.