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Election in Ukraine: "Everything is possible"

The change of power in Ukraine is a success for the young democracy. Newcomer Selenskyj now has many responsibilities. The most important: his voters do not disappoint like his predecessor.

From Demian from the east, ARD studio Moscow

The most important news of the evening is that Ukraine, after many years, is again succeeding in a democratic change of power at the head of its state. The president was voted out. Such a thing is rare in post-Soviet states. Ukrainians new president Volodymyr Selenskyj said in the evening in the direction of other successor states of the Soviet Union: "Look at us! Everything is possible!"

Because that a political outsider is elected head of state, there is usually unthinkable. Whether Vladimir Putin in Russia or Aljaksandr Lukashenka in Belarus – who wins, is there long before the election date.

But Selensky did not win because he is the desired candidate of the Ukrainians. And he knows that himself. "I am the result of your mistakes and promises," Selenskyj told Poroshenko in the presidential candidates "stadium duel" on Friday. "I'm not your opponent, I'm your verdict!"

Disappointment about the previous incumbent

Without a mistake Poroshenko as president, Selenskyj would not have got so far. In 2014, the newly elected President of the Maidan Revolution promised to end the war in Donbass within two weeks. But the war continues to this day.

Poroshenko also promised to fight corruption. But the creation of an anti-corruption investigation office is not enough. The corresponding anti-corruption court has not yet begun its work. The crucial judicial reform has not yet existed. Corruption is rampant in big cities of the country – and Poroshenko does not mind.

Poroshenko camp worries about Russian influence

That's what most voters saw. "I will never disappoint you!" Selenskyj says on election night before his followers. And makes promises like his predecessor. It could be the biggest threat to the 41-year-old newcomer. Now he has to do what Poroshenko did not succeed in five years – without knowing the political system of Ukraine from within.

It's also about ending the war in the East. An end to the war to the detriment of Ukraine is the main concern of Poroshenko and his followers. For example, on the evening of the election, President Poroshenko, who has now been voted out, does not care about praising the fair Ukrainian elections, but then immediately postponing his Twitter account that, given the results, Russia's leadership would now be celebrating. In the Kremlin "believe [sie]"With a new inexperienced president, Ukraine could return to the sphere of influence."

That this is not Selenskyjs goal, should be clear. Although the new president has often made very vague statements about his concrete political goals, he wants to continue the path of Ukraine towards the European Union. He wants to vote on NATO membership of Ukraine. And his appearance on election night sends clear signals that Ukraine will not again submit to the influence of the Kremlin.

Information campaign planned

The concern of Poroshenko's followers is more likely that the new president can make concessions out of inexperience – and thereby Ukraine lose territories. The Crimea, or the renegade self-proclaimed People's Republics Donetsk and Lugansk.

This concern was fueled by statements by Selensky in the election campaign. He had suggested that he want to meet and talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Or in the TV duel he had called the rulers in Donetsk and Lugansk "rebels" – despite the common usage in the Ukraine to fight against the "Russian aggressor" there.

One of Selensky's first measures is to be an information war of Ukraine in the east, he announced on election night. There, Ukraine has hardly been able to oppose Russian propaganda so far.

Next election campaign is already approaching

Poroshenko does not want to withdraw from politics despite the defeat. He wants to defend his achievements. In addition to strengthening the army, this includes the independent Ukrainian church and the promotion of the Ukrainian language.

Although Selenskyj announced on election night to promote the Ukrainian language on. But he himself comes from the Russian-speaking South and is therefore likely to be more receptive to the needs of the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine than Poroshenko, who has campaigned on a nationalist-patriotic course in favor of Ukrainian.

But to govern successfully, Selenskyj must now take care of the next election: that of Parliament. Since the president has a weaker position in Ukraine than, say, the French, Selenskyj needs a strong parliamentary majority to succeed. In the fall is elected. The "servant of the people" party is already registered, but real party structures are not yet there.

The model could be France, where Emmanuel Macron has succeeded in building a new party with "En Marche". Macron was also the only president Selenskyj attended before the second ballot.



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