Ukraine, the geopolitical plaything de jour of Europe, held its latest presidential elections on March 31, 2019, and April 21, 2019, respectively. In the first round, 62.8% of the eligible voters cast their ballots. The challenger, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenski, won the first round with 30.24% of the votes. His opponent, President Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko, garnered 15.9% of the votes. In the second round, 61.37% of the eligible voters participated. Zelenski received 73.23%, while Poroshenko ended up with 24.46% of the votes.
Indeed, the numbers speak for themselves. The overwhelming majority of Ukrainians voted against the three miserable decades of the past, including the ultra-nationalist Maidan Revolution of 2014, which overthrew the corrupt regime of then President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych and elevated the “chocolate king” Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko, a Ukrainian oligarch, to the presidency of the country. The current president elect, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenski formerly a screenwriter, actor, comedian, and movie director, ran as an outsider against the entrenched establishment that ruled Ukraine since its independence in December 1991. Initially governed by two communist holdovers, then by a democrat only by name, and finally by a bully, Ukrainian politics had been guided by lies that had posed constant and veritable challenges to common sense: the facts of the real world inside and outside Ukraine had been banished from government to be replaced by greed, corruption, violence, and abject incompetence.
While the Maidan Revolution was violence pure and simple that had destroyed the constitution of 2004 and almost the entire legal system, the most recent presidential elections appear to signal a peaceful transfer of power from one president to another. Yet, there are alarming signs that President Poroshenko and his allies in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, are plotting to prevent the president elect to take the oath of office as scheduled at the end of May. The official announcement about the election results has been delayed until May 4, 2019. This delay is important because the president elect set an inauguration date of May 27, 2019, in order to immediately facilitate the dissolution of the current Parliament and to prepare early elections. In case the inauguration would be delayed until June 2, 2019, the parliamentary elections by law could be held only sometime in the fall. Thus, until the new Parliament is elected, the new president could be paralyzed by the existing Parliament that is packed with the outgoing president’s loyalists. This development, in turn, would create “dual sovereignty”, in which the Parliament could legislate against the sitting president in a manner that would make it impossible for President Zelenski to govern at all. Ominously enough, President Poroshenko is crisscrossing the country and calling the president elect “a nobody” and simultaneously declaring an all out war of resistance against the incoming administration. Adding insult to injury, President Poroshenko has threatened the president elect with criminal consequences for treason, if he dares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
Clearly, the outgoing Poroshenko administration is seized by extreme panic. This panic originates in them, and unless it is stymied decisively, might spread across the entire country. The reason is not difficult to detect. As his predecessors, President Poroshenko has headed an extremely corrupt government. It appears that there is nothing in common between the outgoing and incoming presidents. For this reason alone, the United States of America and its allies should not confuse the two administrations. In particular, President Trump and his administration should break decisively with the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations’ practices of criminal complicity by tolerating the destructive corruption in Ukraine. The outrageously criminal behavior of the so-called Harvard mafia under President Clinton and the self-serving nepotism of Vice President Joe Biden on behalf of his son Hunter under President Obama must not be tolerated and repeated.
Instead, President Trump must carefully calibrate his policy toward the incoming president by taking into account the geopolitical realities and the legitimate national interests of all the parties that have a stake in a politically and economically stable Ukraine. Most importantly, President Zelenski must be assisted in cleaning up the politics as well as the economy of Ukraine. In this context, President Poroshenko and his cohorts cannot be allowed to obscure their criminality by invoking the extreme nationalist views of the Maidan Revolution that have caused grave political, economic, cultural, and social damage to Ukraine. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian people voted for hope and change in the forms of peace, stability, and prosperity. They do not want to be the geopolitical plaything of the United States of America, the European Union, and Russia any more. What they want is simply normalcy across the board. Finally, Russian interests and emotions cannot be ignored, wholesale. For without the cooperation of Moscow, there will never be lasting peace in Ukraine. For the sake of the world, the European continent as well as the Ukrainian people, Washington, Brussels, and Moscow would have to reach a positively comprehensive solution in the near future.