Much Ado About Volodymyr Zelensky

Nikolas K. Gvosdev
Reuters

Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Politis, Eurasia

Will Zelensky be able to succeed where Petro Poroshenko did not?

Much Ado About Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky got his wish. Ever since the comedian-turned-presidential-candidate won the presidency, he has insisted that he could not govern nor could he move on his agenda without obtaining a fresh mandate in the Ukrainian parliament. Having successfully dissolved the Verkhovna Rada ahead of schedule, he and his team made the case that Ukraine needed a legislature fresh for the job. Ukrainian voters responded, giving his newly created and quickly assembled “Servant of the People” party the absolute majority in the new assembly. He now takes full responsibility for the course of the country.

Like his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, who only lasted one term in office, Zelensky has promised the Ukrainian people that he can keep Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration on course, while finding a lasting settlement to the conflict with Russia, all while tackling the corruption that has hobbled the Ukrainian economy for the past two decades. Like the "Obama-Trump" voters in the United States, Zelensky, both as a presidential candidate and in terms of his political party, received most of the votes of those who rallied to Poroshenko in 2014.  The challenge now is whether Zelensky can succeed where Poroshenko did not.

That will depend on several factors.

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