Petro Poroshenko (left) and Volodymyr Zelensky (right)
Maybe we need to be more honest about these election results? Do Lviv residents really support corruption, general impoverishment, or populism? Do they want a man with an iron fist? Don’t they know how to organize their daily life? Do they live in the worst city in Ukraine? What’s been happening? Why did they support Chornovil against Kravchuk, Kravchuk against Kuchma, Kuchma against Symonenko, Yushchenko against Yanukovych, Tymoshenko against Yanukovych? Why have Luhansk residents always expressed diametrically opposite electoral viewpoints than their countrymen in Lviv? Whose choice is actually more promising?
Today, everyone’s sayings that Poroshenko’s task is to convince Zelenskyy’s electorate. But, maybe Zelenskyy should try to persuade Poroshenko’s electorate? Or, persuade this electorate to listen to his arguments? Even if there are fewer of them… because they are part of the minority group that took part in the Revolution of Dignity.
Actually, it’s not all these political figures that are so frightening, but Russia’s attempt to turn back the clock and push Ukraine back into a pro-Russian prison colony, where the Holodomor famine and the Great Terror have been duly justified and excused, where corruption has increased, where there is absolutely no future for the protection of Ukrainian culture and language, where Ukrainian media, radio and TV are humiliated and ridiculed on a daily basis.
Do Ukrainians actually believe that that life was better in the Soviet Union than in France or Germany? More honest, more transparent? Easier? More comfortable? More democratic?
Ukrainians want Poroshenko and Zelenskyy to explain their positions honestly and clearly, give open answers to journalists and society: what are we really going to do? With the Ukrainian language? With the fight against corruption? With the EU and NATO? With the tax system? With reforms of medicine, pensions, and local self-government? What will happen to the army? You can’t buy a pig in a poke at the expense of your own life, the lives of your children and the country. And, this applies equally and unequivocally to both candidates.
People may object and say that some of these issues should not be addressed to the President, that they’re not within his competence. But, the President is a politician. He must have a vision for Ukraine’s strategic development. Of course, he won’t be able to implement everything unless he has a powerful faction in Parliament, but apparently both candidates plan to have such a faction.
Mykola Kniazhytskyi is a Ukrainian journalist, Deputy of Ukraine, Head of the Committee on Culture and Spirituality, Co-head of the group for interparliamentary relations with the Republic of Poland, Head of the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee.