“When asked who is my ally, with whom I am ready to unite and coordinate my actions, I answer: my ally is the Ukrainian people,” he tweeted Tuesday. “Who is my opponent? I am not ashamed to say it openly — this opponent is Putin.”
Sunday’s vote, however, may bring no clear outcome. If there is not an outright winner with an absolute majority of votes in the first round, the top two candidates go on to a second round on April 21.
Just under a year ago, the President’s support among likely voters was in the single digits. Since then, Poroshenko has reduced the gap: In another recent survey, American pollster GQR found the current president catching up with Zelenskiy, with 20% of likely voters saying they would vote for him if the election were held the coming Sunday.
Poroshenko, a tycoon best known for his ownership of chocolate manufacturer Roshen, may have the advantages of incumbency. But he’s competing against someone who has major name recognition.
And in a made-for-TV twist, the plot of the series foreshadowed his quixotic political bid: Zelenskiy plays a down-and-out schoolteacher who unexpectedly becomes President of Ukraine after becoming famous for an anti-corruption rant that goes viral on social media.
“Servant of the People” is, in effect, a campaign advertisement for Zelenskiy: A new episode airs on Wednesday on the 1+1 channel, just days before the election.
But political observers also say Zelenskiy is something of a blank slate, a complete newcomer to politics whose mastery of policy details is still rather scant.
Poroshenko, by contrast, has campaigned on a patriotic and national-security platform, running on a slogan of Armiya, Mova, Vira (meaning “army, language, faith.”)
Ukraine’s incumbent President has also played on Ukraine’s bid for greater spiritual independence from Russia, welcoming a decision last October by Bartholomew I of Constantinople, the spiritual and symbolic leader of the eastern Orthodox church, to recognize an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
‘Democracy in Ukraine is messy … but competitive’
Most polls show that Poroshenko appears to be in a dead heat for second place against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
She left office in 2010 and was later jailed over a natural gas agreement that she signed with Russia, a sentence widely seen as political.
Source : Nbcnewyork