Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s win over incumbent Petro Poroshenko marks a stark shift to the general pattern seen in Ukrainian politics. But Ukraine can pat itself on the back for achieving it, argues Rebecca Harms, a German politician and member of the European Parliament.
“This peaceful and orderly organized election day in the end resulted in a peaceful shift in power and I think Ukrainians and all those who contributed to this, including the candidates, deserve to be honored,” she says.
MEP Rebecca Harms chats to Hromadske's Nataliya Gumenyuk on April 23, 2019
The best story about the election day, according to Harms, is that “Ukrainians do not need any more Maidans (2014 pro-Europe and anti corruption revolution, -ed.) to change power.”
When asked how she interprets the election result, Harms, who since the start of 2017 serves as the chairwoman of the delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and deals with relations to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, states that her impression is that it was a vote against “those known as the main players in Ukrainian politics.”
“There was obviously a wish for something new, and Zelenskiy managed to be the man who could become the ideal person for many Ukrainians. I congratulate him for this,” Harms says.
The MEP adds that it will be difficult for Zelenskiy to keep up to his promises.
“He is now in a very difficult and very demanding situation,” Harms says. “I hope they will be able to communicate in an honest way about what they want to do, how they are going to do it, what are the priorities, what compromises they will have to agree too. Compromise is a part of the democratic process.”
Furthermore, Harms interestingly talks of the relationship between expectation and perceived failure. Stating that the higher the expectations are, the easier it is to fall. Using the analogy of the Obama presidency:
“The overwhelming enthusiasm and hope connected to Mr. Zelenskiy [is similar to that of former U.S. President Barack Obama in 2008]. Obama after a very short period went down in the polls, but did manage to recover”
/By Max Rogers