The disappointing news is that the leading candidates – Petro Poroshenko, Yulia Tymoshenko and Sergiy Tigipko – are all part of the oligarch class that has left Ukraine in such a weakened state after 23 years of corruption, thieving and unaccountable, Soviet-style government.
The new generation of politicians and activists that came of age during the EuroMaidan Revolution didn’t field any candidates that caught the public’s imagination. Perhaps in normal times, they might have a chance. But Ukraine is holding a national election in crisis and during a compressed time frame. We look for new parliamentary elections in October, when we expect voters will remove the Communist Party, the disgraced elements of the Party of Regions and other lawmakers who aren’t serving their interests.
Judging by the polls, Poroshenko is the clear favorite. His detractors say that his victory is no reason for celebration, noting his role in the 1990s “oligarch” party of Viktor Medvedchuk, his role as a founder of the Party of Regions in 2002, led by the overthrown President Viktor Yanukvoych, and his service to the Yanukovych as economy minister.