Comedian to become president. Old news
Ukraine is currently going through the process of selecting a new leader. This should be interesting. Current President and oligarch (although with a measly 979 million dollars not even world top 1000 rich-list, scoff), Petro Poroshenko, has been given some credit for being less of a Kremlin cuddler than his predecessor, but he still has an air of old news about him. Maybe the banning of journalists, his involvement in the Panama papers and the suggested implementation of martial law was just a tad too nostalgic for the electorate.
Among the realistic candidates were; Yulia Tymoshenko, two time prime minister and Volodymyr Zelenskiy (hereon Vlad), a man who shouts inaccuracies at crowds for the sake of money (all he needs is a suit really and he’s ready for office). Tymoshenko has had a long and successful political career full of progressive ideas without ever calling for martial law or hiding money somewhere on an island. This makes her completely unsuitable for running a country. It’s 2019 after all, time to get with the times.
In the polls the comedian has by far the most support at 30% projected, with Poroshenko -a not so close second- getting 16%. Yulia is old news. Vlad will soon face Poroshenko, who with only half of Vlad’s support will probably turn out to be a joke. Maybe time for Poroshenko to take a page out of the other Vlad’s book and make sure he “disappears” for a while.
Before that happens; what do we know about the comedian? To start, he is closely connected with oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy (complete the look?) who defrauded ‘Privatbank’ for billions before fleeing to Israel. Vlad claims they are just friends, and Ihor has no political influence on him whatsoever. A necessary evil maybe, and as long as Vlad and Ihor stick to playing in parks and playing oligopoly(?) together we might be in the clear.
Vlad also claims humour is a sign of intelligence. Humility clearly is not. Even if Vlad turns out to be funny, this is nothing new in modern politics. The main difference will be that any humour or levity will be purposeful, rather than a result of a unique -shall we say- personality trait.
Vlad has clearly understood how this election thing works. Entertainment gets you the vote, competence does not. And if this analysis of his dubious ties and complete inexperience turns out to be prematurely cynical, his stand-up could be the coincidence Ukraine needs.
Let’s just hope this does not turn into some kind of joke.