According to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, 73.2 percent of voters voted for Vladimir Zelensky, while 24.5 percent supported incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. In fact, the showman secured the backing of thrice as more citizens than the current President.
Zelensky's result set a record in the entire history of Ukraine: no head of state has ever enjoyed a similar level of trust among voters. Even the leading experts did not predict such a complete, global defeat of Poroshenko.
The course of elections and everything that preceded them highly likely reflect the true will of the Ukrainian voters. The role of "external influences", if any, is really small. Anyway, it is completely meaningless to suspect fraudulence or non-democratic nature of this election.
"The outcome of this election is quite expected," Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS studies Vladimir Zharikhin noted in an interview with the Inforos portal. "It points to two things. First, Zelensky became a candidate of protest, i.e. this vote was more about opposing Poroshenko. Secondly, he became a candidate of hope, i.e. the voters have nearly rejected the entire political elite and demanded new people."
The Ukrainians have grown incredibly tired of representatives of the political establishment and the corruption-oligarchic system prevailing in the country. In fact, they voted against Poroshenko's dictatorship. People are bored to death by this "leader of the nation" with his "one nation, one language, one faith, one president".
Poroshenko's senseless and expensive campaign was built on the classic image of the enemy embodied in Russia and President Vladimir Putin. The "candy tycoon's" team convinced the Ukrainians that choosing Poroshenko means choosing a future in Europe. But the anti-Russian hysteria does not seem to work anymore. Today, members of the election loser's team are comforting themselves with prospects of a parliamentary campaign. However, one should not bet on this, especially if his opponent manages to meet people's expectations.
In many respects Poroshenko's complete flop can be attributed to Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, whose department is not taking orders from the President. It was him, perhaps unwittingly, who became a real guarantor of fair elections. To stay in power, Poroshenko could have thrown himself under a bus, including falsifications and provocations, but Avakov, having a conflict with the guarantor, averted it.
Over the five years of his presidency, self-obsessed Poroshenko came to believe in his impunity, which also contributed to his failure. He persistently challenged "the clown" for a debate, failing to realize that his charismatic opponent will gain the upper hand, despite the lack of political experience. During the Kiev debates Zelensky greatly spoiled Poroshenko's authority, and this seems to have been one of the reasons for such a stillborn vote.
Despite the poor results, Poroshenko declared his intention to stay in politics. Therefore, it is too early to shut the door on this story.
By their choice, the Ukrainians have clearly demonstrated their readiness for change. The majority of those living below the poverty line never managed to understand the necessity of a visa-free regime with the EU, if there is not enough money even to ensure a decent standard of living. Many people are tired of leaving home for months to work not to see their loved ones for the sake of guaranteeing them a more or less normal life.
People are tired of being afraid of the security forces that support the dictatorship in the country and inspire fear among its people. They are tired of nationalist marches, of war and violence, of the fact that children cannot be educated in their native language, and meeting with relatives from Russia is a highly challenging thing. The Ukrainians do not know yet whether the new President will be able and willing to solve these problems created by the Poroshenko regime, but now they have got a timid hope...
It is so far difficult to say which way Zelensky will choose, but apparently the situation won’t be any worse. If the new president somehow manages to get along with Russia, the country will have a chance to build a policy of balance between the East and the West. In many ways, this can save the country whose people have been rushing between Russia and Europe for decades.