Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Polls show Ukraine voters favor entertainer-comedian Zelenskiy in upcoming presidential election. Voters are tired of bloated, corrupt Poroshenko-Reuters, AP

2/20/19, “Comedian leads new poll in Ukraine presidential election, Reuters, Kiev

“Comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy is the frontrunner in Ukraine’s presidential election, according to the latest opinion poll published on Wednesday.

“Zolodymyr Zelenskiy has spent more than 20 years as a comedian in Ukraine peppering his stand-up routines with imitations of politicians. So when his production company needed an actor to play an everyman who unexpectedly becomes president, Zelenskiy was a clear choice.

But in an example of life imitating art far more than the other way round, the 41-year-old film and TV star who plays the president in a popular TV series is the leading candidate in Ukraine’s upcoming presidential election. It’s a role he takes seriously. 

“Corruption is everywhere. We need to reduce its impact on the government, on people’s lives,” Zelenskiy said during an interview with The Associated Press in which he outlined plans to stem a population exodus with higher wages and to bring internet service to small villages.

Zelenskiy argues that his lack of political experience is an advantage in an election climate in which voters have seen their hopes for a better future squashed. He described himself as a “fresh face” and allowed that his participation in the president’s race gave some “hype” to Ukrainian politics. He also brushed aside claims that he’s controlled by a powerful banker in a tug-of-war with the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko….

In his stand-up routines, Zelenskiy frequently mocks the incumbent. The biting satire has boosted his popularity and irritated the president, who complained to the comic the portrayal was unfair, according to Zelenskiy’s own account.

With a laugh, Zelenskiy dismissed both Poroshenko and the other leading candidate, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as a “turned page.” He voiced confidence in his ability to beat either in a runoff election between the top two finishers in the first round of voting.

“People have grown tired of the old guard, so to say,” he said. 

Recent opinion polls have shown Zelenskiy surging ahead of both Poroshenko and Tymoshenko in the run-up to the March 31 vote.

An election survey by four respected polling agencies in Ukraine had 21.9 percent of respondents supporting Zelenskiy, the most of any candidate. Tymoshenko was the choice of 19.2 percent, and Poroshenko came in third with 14.8 percent. Thirty-four other 34 candidates trailed behind.

The poll of 10,000 registered voters, done in face-to-face interviews, was completed last week and released Monday. It had a margin of error of 1 percentage point.

“Zelenskiy has succeeded in attracting angry voters who have lost trust in the current politicians, said Viktor Zamyatin, an analyst with the Razumkov Center, a Kiev think tank….

Born to a professorial family in the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih when Ukraine still was part of the Soviet Union, Zelenskiy is a native Russian speaker, something that helps his popularity in eastern regions where many speak Russian.

He started acting in law school and quickly became a standout on a popular TV show featuring competing comedy teams. In 2003, the team he led was turned into an entertainment production company, Kvartal 95.

Zelenskiy’s easygoing charm and quick wits were on display during the interview, which was conducted during a break in work on his TV series. “Servant of the People” has been a big success, with episodes streamed with English subtitles on Netflix and a spinoff movie.

But the candidate also made it clear he isn’t running for president in real life as a joke or publicity stunt. Depressed wages and public benefits have caused poverty and the flight of Ukrainians seeking better opportunities in European countries, he said.

“We need competitive salaries for Ukrainians to feel self-respect,” Zelenskiy said….

“We are waiting for peace to come to Ukraine,” he said. “It’s the most horrible thing that people die.”…

Zelenskiy said he would pursue Ukraine’s aspirations to join the European Union, if he wins the election. He wouldn’t say if he would press for the country’s membership in NATO.

“Ukraine has chosen its path,” he said. “This is the European path, and I absolutely believe that it’s the right one.””

Added: Desperate bloated Ukraine oligarch Poroshenko adds EU and NATO membership to Ukraine Constitution as he sees his poll numbers dwindle:

2/13/19, Ukraine : NATO in the Constitution, Voltaire Network, Manlio Dinucci 

“Moving always further away from democratic principles, the Ukrainian parliament has outlawed political parties and personalities who contest the project of membership of NATO and the European Union.” 

“The day after the signature of NATO’s membership protocol with North Macedonia as its 30th member, Ukraine did something without precedent: it included in its Constitution the engagement to enter officially into NATO and the European Union at the same time.  

On 7 February, on a proposition by President Petro Poroshenko – the oligarch who made himself rich by plundering public properties, and who is once again a candidate for the presidency – the Kiev parliament, by 334 votes to 35 with 16 abstentions, approved these amendments to the Constitution.

The Introduction pronounces « the irreversible movement of Ukraine towards Euro-Atlantic integration » ; articles 85 and 116 state that it is a fundamental duty of the parliament and the government to « obtain Ukraine’s full membership of NATO and the EU » ; article 102 stipulates that « the President of Ukraine is the guarantor of the strategic decisions of the State aimed at obtaining full membership of NATO and the EU». 

The inclusion in the Ukrainian Constitution of the engagement to enter officially into NATO bears with it some very serious consequences. 

On the interior, it alienates the future of Ukraine from this choice, by excluding any alternative, and outlaws de facto any party or person who might oppose the « strategic decisions of the state ». Already, the Central Electoral Commission has forbidden Petro Simonenko, director of the Ukrainian Communist Party, to participate in the Presidential elections to be held in March. 

The merit for having introduced into the Ukrainian Constitution the engagement to enter officially into NATO goes in particular to Parliamentary President Andriy Parubiy [1]. Co-founder in 1991 of the Ukrainian National-Socialist Party, on the model of Adolf Hitler’s National-Socialist Party; head of the neo-Nazi paramilitary formations which were used in 2014 during the putsch of Place Maïdan under US/NATO command, and in the massacre of Odessa [2] ; head of the Ukraine National Security and Defense Council, which, with the Azov Battalion [3] and other neo-Nazi units, attacked Ukrainian civilians of Russian nationality in the Eastern part of the country and used his squadrons for acts of ferocious abuse, the plunder of political headquarters and other auto-da-fés in a truly Nazi style.

On the international level, we should keep in mind that Ukraine is already linked to NATO, of which it is a partne : for example, the Azov Battalion, whose Nazi character is represented by the emblem copied from that of the SS unit Das Reich, has been transformed into a special operations regiment, equipped with armoured vehicles and trained by US instructors from the 173rd Airborne Division, transferred to Ukraine from Vicence, and seconded by other NATO members. 

Since Russia has been accused by NATO of having illegally annexed Crimea, and of launching military operations against Kiev, should Ukraine officially join NATO, the 30 other members of the Alliance, on the basis of article 5, would be obliged to « assist the party or parties under attack by adopting immediately, individually and in agreement with the other parties, any action that it should deem necessary, including the use of armed force ».

In other words, they would have to go to war with Russia. 

These dangerous implications of the modification of the Ukrainian Constitution – behind which are most certainly strategies by the USA and NATOhave been met with political and media silence. Including that of the Italian parliament, which, in 2017 established an agreement with the Ukrainian parliament, supported by Laura Boldrini and Andriy Parubiy. Thus cooperation has been reinforced between the Italian Republic, born of resistance against fascism and Nazism, and a régime which has created in Ukraine a situation similar to that which brought about the arrival of fascism in the 1920’s and Nazism in the 1930’s.” 

Manlio Dinucci 

Translation Pete Kimberley 

Il Manifesto (Italy)


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