A total of 24 candidates (out of 46 who attempted
to stand) have been registered, which is more than in 2010 (18) and similar to
the number in 2004 (26). As in every Ukrainian presidential election, there are
two front-runners, which this time round are Petro Poroshenko and Yulia
Tymoshenko, both of whom are not new faces.
The 24 candidates
in next month’s election should be divided into three groups: (1) independents
and narcissists; (2) ancien regime; and (3) former opposition. Among my two
favourites in the first group is Oleh Lyashko, a clown from the virtual Radical
Party, and a consultant to the chairman of Ukraine’s Foreign Intelligence
Of the 10 candidates from the former ancien regime, seven are from or linked to the Party
of Regions reflecting internal divisions following the fleeing of President
Viktor Yanukovych from Ukraine. The other three include the Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko who has found the huge deposit to enable him to stand in each election, a
former disgraced Socialist Party leader and Jewish-Ukrainian oligarch.