A comedian-turned-politician is a rising star in Kiev and in fact, he could win the Presidential election in the run-off on Sunday. He seems to have no policy and plan but the voters are looking for a new leader and Volodymyr Zelensky, after winning the first round with 30.2% of the vote has momentum. He does not care a lot about policy nor does he care much about politics, which makes him a shockingly dangerous candidate. He can in fact ask for support from experts and run the country by having people advise him. You may laugh but the United States has done this for decades. Bill Clinton knew next to nothing, as did Bush II and Obam.
He beat President Petro Poroshenko who got 16 percent of the vote in the first round and has momentum as we approach the second round to decide who is President. We can only imagine the frustration that the people of the Ukraine now have as they are looking for new leadership, this one a trusted comedian who plays on TV and radio. But can he lead?
A recent Kiev-based institute showed that he has 48% of the vote while 17 percent were undecided and 17 percent supported Poroshenko. Mr Zelensky plays on a TV weekly program about a guy who is just a normal citizen who is suddenly elected to the top post as President. Many call hi Ze for short and he seems to get the attention from the youth of the country. The run-off vote will be held on April 21. Some expect Ze to win, making his TV show a true reality show.
The comedian says he wants people walking around smiling in his country but he gets serious and says that he will do something about corruption and the unemployment rate. Also he wants to remove parliamentary immunity from prosecution and would reform the judicial system. Zelensky has said that he favors dialogue with Putin and Russia and wants to see occupied territories returned to the Ukraine. One risk that Ukraine now has is that this man could be viewed as weak and with the likes of Putin sitting across from Ze, it could put him in a difficult situation.