The build-up to Ukraine’s Presidential Election continues.
1. A primer on the politics of Ukraine
If you want a (western) academic view on the forthcoming race, this 30 minute YouTube video by Professor Taras Kuzio is worth watching. It was created in July last year and so does not take into account all the latest developments, but is a good primer.
2. Disenfranchisement of IDPs
Elsewhere, Open Democracy have published a paper about the disenfranchisement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for local elections in Ukraine. Although people who have moved from the Donbas because of the conflict there are able to vote in Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the paper suggests that excluding them from local elections is both unfair and liable to convey the message that they are not ‘proper’ citizens. It may affect their participation in the Presidential election.
3. The political novice
Andreas Umland, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation at Kyiv, has written about the candidacy of the actor and TV producer Volodymyr Zelens’kyy in the Presidential race. Zelens’kyy played the character of the President in the TV show ‘Servant of the People’ and is now the candidate on behalf of the party with the same name.
Umland says that there are significant downsides to Zelens’kyy’s candidacy, not least his lack of any governmental experience. Whilst TV can write situations for a novice president to navigate, how transferrable is that to real life? On the other hand, Umland argues that Zelens’kyy has changed the debate around the Presidential elections. He says that voters regard the two leading candidates – Poroshenko and Tymoshenko – as old news and debate had ossified as a result. He also identifies Zelens’kyy’s jewish roots and south east (Russian speaking) Ukrainian origins as being different from the mainstream debate.
Note: The links shown are the views of the individual authors and not of myself.