Location Ukraine Ukraine

Ukraine Will Become a Parliamentary Republic

April 17

A political show is moving on in Ukraine. The second round of election is not something unexpected as none of the 39 candidates had a chance to obtain more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast. Following the results of the vote, Volodymyr Zelensky, a comic and a new figure in politics, is leading. He obtained 30.24% of the votes. This is certainly a resounding success, but not a complete victory. Volodymyr Zelensky has no adequate team behind him. Up to now, it consisted mainly of his colleagues involved in television media. However, this may be just a facade, only the tip of an iceberg. And in truth, Volodymyr Zelensky answers to more influential people than, for instance, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who president Petro Poroshenko believes to be the main puppet master of his competitor.

Long before the election, an interesting piece appeared on the Ukrainian political chessboard. This was Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov who, after five years of his mandate, acquired real political strength in Ukraine. Not a single crucial decision has been taken by the Government without him being involved. Now many political analysts argue that the winner of the elections will be the one who receives support of Arsen Avakov. In fact, he never concealed real sympathies in his words and deeds. Harassment of President Petro Poroshenko by him was evident to all while he always favoured Volodymyr Zelensky.

Such favour is not random at all. Arsen Avakov has repeatedly claimed that Ukraine needs to be ‘a full-fledged parliamentary republic’. But the Ukrainian President clearly did not love ‘the power broker’ back although the latter tried to raise this subject in the course of their face-to-face meetings. It is likely that Poroshenko who is well known for his hunger of power and used the full authority of his office during these five years, does not wish to share the power with anyone else now.

Meanwhile, a reform aimed at fundamental transformation of the state structure is quite possible with a weaker president in Ukraine. And Volodymyr Zelensky fits it alright. A letter by Satu Kahkonen, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, addressed to Kurt Volker, the US Special Representative for Ukraine, illustrates, in particular, such flows of events.

It appears from the letter that Arsen Avakov managed not only to obtain the support of Western political leaders for putting his idea into practice, but also to get a chance to hold a higher position and in the meantime to drive out his competitor, namely Yulia Tymoshenko.

All things considered, this scenario is most favourable for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelensky, known as a young and charismatic leader, who preserves the image of a modern European politician, will actually look good on the international arena, where he will be able to put into action his pledges and make deals with Western partners while Arsen Avakov, known as an experienced politician in issues of political machinations and behind-the-scenes struggle, will solve numerous internal problems inherited from the Poroshenko period.


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