The outgoing week became the last one before the election of the president of Ukraine, so all the players showed their cards: the Prosecutor General Yuliy Lutsenko began to criticize the USA, the last one started negotiations with other candidates as if it doesn’t believe in the current president and the Ukrainians have finally lost their trust in authorities – according to the international observers. Is there the bottom in Pandora’s box? Read in the traditional digest from Opinion.

For visual guidance, we selected the graffiti of the most famous street artist Banksy. The more the investigators tried to disclose his personality – the more he remained unknown to all. First of all, it’s not important who Banksy is as a person, Banksy is important as a symbol which juxtaposes an ordinary human with the state machine.

In the interview to HillTV, the General Prosecutor Yuliy Lutsenko said that during the first meeting with him, the ambassador the USA in Ukraine, Marie Louise Yovanovitch had given him the list of people, who can’t be persecuted.

“Unfortunately, at the first meeting with the ambassador of the USA in Kyiv, Yovanovitch gave me the list of people whom we can’t persecute,” Lutsenko said.

According to him, this position of the ambassador is unacceptable. “My answer – this is unacceptable. Nobody in the country, neither our president, nor our parliament, nor the ambassador will impede my investigation into the traces of the crime,” he continued.

It was also mentioned about people’s deputies, said Lutsenko’s press secretary Larysa Sargan.

In addition, Lutsenko added that he didn’t receive from the American Embassy in Ukraine about four million dollars, which the diplomatic office should have allocated to his post. The Prosecutor General called this situation “rather strange” and indicated that the funds were intended, but he “never received” them.

In turn, the State Department called Lutsenko’s statement about the list of people who should not be persecuted a “frank fabrication”.

“We have seen a notification of the allegations. Now, the USA doesn’t provide the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine with any help but previously they tried to support the fundamental reform of the justice sector, in particular in the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine after the revolution of Dignity in 2014,” the spokesperson of the State Department said.

“When the political will to the real reforms from the General Prosecutors’ side who alternate one another, turned out insufficient, we took credit for American taxpayers and allocated the aid to more productive projects,” he added. According to The Newsroom, it is about the money which was given to the Center for combating corruption.

Diplomats called the accusations addressed to the US officials a detection of corruption.

“Such attacks deepen our determination to help Ukraine in the defeating corruption… To succeed, Ukraine needs devoted officials and strong anti-corruption departments,” the Embassy noted.

The conflict could have occurred due to the presidential elections in the USA in 2016. The head of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, Nazar Kholodnytskyi testified that his colleague – the head of the NABU, Artem Sytnyk wanted to help Clinton. So, the Democrats could use NABU through the Embassy of the USA in Kyiv.

The investigation was initiated after the Ukrainian deputy published an audio recording quoting the words of a senior law enforcement officer that his agency “leaked” Manaforth’s financial reports to help Clinton’s campaign.

In support of Lutsenko, the People’s Deputies from the BPP, who are demanding a trial over Yovanovitch, have already lined up. But did they consider how this noise will affect their candidate Poroshenko? It doesn’t seem so, because diplomats from the United States have already met with Zelensky and Tymoshenko. And it seems that they liked “being guests” more.

“It remains to wait when NABU’s leadership presents suspicion of interfering in the US presidential election, while Americans themselves suspect the Russian Federation of such an intervention. I think, that this time, the freakiness hit the record,” the people’s deputy Mustafa Nayyem said.

While the freakiness was hitting record not only in Ukraine. Nursultan Nazarbayev resigned from the post of the president of Kazakhstan after 30 years of governance. “Wow, what a courage, other post-Soviet countries have to follow the lead,” nearly all Ukrainians thought about this. But it was too early for joy.

Parliament of Kazakhstan finally approved the renaming of the capital of Astana to Nursultan in honor of the president, who ruled the country for almost 29 years and announced his resignation on the eve.

Earlier, the proposal for renaming was expressed by the new president of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In addition, he believes that all central streets of all regional centers should be named after the first president.

Despite the resigning, Nazarbayev will retain the title of “leader of the nation”, remain the head of the ruling party “Nur Otan”, head the Security Council of Kazakhstan and become a member of the Constitutional Council.

At one time, Nazarbayev had “redrawn” the scheme of power and strengthened the Security Council, providing the head with the powers not less than the leader of the state has. In particular, Nursultan can now block any legislative project or decision of the president.

By the way, Nazarbayev has the presidential party which is fully controlled by the parliament.

Nazarbayev was the first and the only president of Kazakhstan since 1990. In 2007, Parliament gave him, as the first president, the opportunity to run for the presidency an unlimited number of times. The last time he was re-elected in 2015 – then Nazarbayev gained 97.75% of the votes. His mandate expired in April 2020.

But with the resignation of Nursultan, the surname of Nazarbayev in power circles won’t decrease in power circles. The next day after the decision on the end of the presidency, his eldest daughter Dariga Nazarbayeva was elected a spokeswoman for the Senate of the republic.

According to Hromadske, formally nothing prevents her from nominating in the upcoming elections.

Another thing is that the name of Nazarbayeva recently was involved in several scandals. The latest report by human rights activists on the “Eurasian Democratic Initiative” was devoted to the fact that the daughter of the president could bring tens of millions of dollars into accounts in Austria (Dariga herself didn’t comment on the report). In addition, Dariga Nazarbayeva has a poor managerial experience: she has been neither an Akim (the head of administration in Kazakhstan – ED), nor a speaker of parliament.

In fact, Nazarbaev destroyed any democracy in Kazakhstan. Independent activists are persecuted, there is no real freedom of speech in the country, and the authorities are trying to control every aspect of public life: on the Internet and offline. Social networks are blocked every night, and Nursultan is not now the president of his people – he is their Khan.

It is left only to rejoice at the wisdom of Ukrainian people who at one time got rid of, though not Khan but “pakhan” (‘big shot’ – translator’s note) and sent him far away. To Rostov.

And back to Ukraine – we have no less interesting. One week before the election of the president of Ukraine, every sixth Ukrainian doesn’t know who to vote for, Zelensky is gaining 30%, and Tymoshenko and Poroshenko seem to be ready for everything to get to the second round.

“The 2019 elections are unique because of the low trust in all politicians and the low ranking of the race leaders, so now, two weeks before the election, we don’t know who will enter the second round,” says Volodymyr Paniotto, Director General of KIIS. “Usually, we knew it in a few months before the election.

In Ukraine, the world’s lowest level of public trust in the government – only 9 percent. This is evidenced by the results of a 2018 Gallup analytical and advisory company.

“The lowest level of confidence in the world for the second year in a row,” the analysts commented on the figure.

According to their data, for comparison, when Viktor Yanukovych was the president, this indicator reached 24%. At the same time, in the post-Soviet countries, the trust in the leadership of the state on average is 48%, the world average – 56%.

As the researchers found out, just after Petro Poroshenko was elected as the president, 24% of Ukrainians felt credibility in power, while Poroshenko’s actions were approved by 48%.

“However, these hopes quickly disappeared, as many Ukrainians saw that the authorities are not able to meet the demands of the protesters of the Revolution on Maidan. From 2015, the trust didn’t exceed 14%,” the authors concluded.

According to the same service, 91% of Ukrainians see corruption in power circles and 82% in the business sector. In 2010, the feeling of corruption in Ukrainians was much less: 77% of the citizens saw it in the authorities and 76% – in business.

And these people who have not yet decided, but mostly don’t trust the authorities, will go to the elections and vote.

“However, it is worth mentioning the hidden electorate of the separate candidates,” Ukrainska Pravda writes.

“The more in-depth analyses that we are doing say that Tymoshenko has a hidden reserve, since her electorate is the poor population group, while Tymoshenko is a socially oriented politician,” Oleksiy Antypovych, Director of the Sociological Group “Rating,” said.

But Zelensky can be an “emotional” choice, that is, in polls, people, doubting, call him, but in the end, can put a tick next to another candidate.

One thing is obvious: the votes of those who are not determined will go to Tymoshenko, Poroshenko, Hrytsenko or to Boyko with Vilkul. And to say that among the uncertain, there is a significant reserve for a particular candidate – there are no grounds.

According to the author of the material, Natalia Sudakova, even one unexpectedly added percentage may change the composition of the second round. So don’t plan anything on March 31st. Except for voting, of course. It will be fun.

Kostyantyn Rul

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