The preliminary results of the second round for many are something that is hard to believe. However, they talk about it not only in Ukraine but also far beyond its borders. What was the first reaction of foreign experts and international media – in reactions from Opinion.
At the beginning of the election day, Michael McFaul, an American diplomat, and professor of political sciences, stressed: election day in Ukraine, and no one knows who will win. That’s democracy.
The diplomat and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt assured that everything indicates that “Ukraine conducted a calm, free, fair and highly competitive democratic election.” Bildt described this as a huge achievement after open Russian aggression and financial near-collapse five years ago.
Michael Carpenter, senior director of the Biden Center (USA), characterized the likely duet of the second round competition between a novice/outsider vs experience/status quo.
A journalist Alec Luhn named Zelensky’s campaign “populism 2.0” and noted that “it turns out that boob jokes are better than a policy discussion.”
The economist Steve Hanke does not mind to find out what Zelensky thinks about Ukraine’s “only real joke” – the economy.
Journalist Anshel Pfeffer admits that he is not sure whether Zelensky’s victory in the first round is good news for Ukraine. However, he adds that such a gap of the “Jewish candidate” is evidence that everything is changing for the better.
A journalist Jack Mendel in his turn even called Zelensky “Ukrainian Trump”.
International media was also interested in the results of the first exit polls. For example, on the website of the French government television channel France 24 Zelensky is characterized as a comedian with a “popular anti-corruption message”, which despite this has no political experience. In particular, French journalists are sure: now the showman must convince voters that he can lead the country in war. The website also recalls criticism of the leader of the ratings.
In general, the most common type of foreign media headlines is with the emphasis on the fact that the leader of the race is precisely the comedian. For the most part, the media don’t even indicate the name of Zelensky. As, for example, it was done by BBC. Journalists also point out that the next Ukrainian president will inherit a “deadlocked conflict” between the Ukrainian troops and separatists in the east.
The Guardian has also emphasized the fact that the leader of the election and the probable winner of the first round is a comedian. The text also notes that campaign of “dark horse” Zelensky targeted youth, those who want changes and frustrated with reforms and a sluggish economy.
“No joke: Comedian to win the first round in Ukraine’s presidential elections” the text with that headline appeared on the pages of the American Politico. The authors of the publication recall that Zelensky’s political views remain largely unknown. Also, the text mentions that the showman avoided talking with journalists and didn’t take part in debates before the first round.
Financial Times writes about the fact that Zelensky avoided in-depth interviews and debates with opponents. Journalists note that the showman’s election campaign consisted mainly of social media and comedy performances.
The website of the American television company CBS assured readers that the elections were “shadowed” by allegations of vote buying. Also, almost every foreign text recall the participation of Zelensky in the TV series Sluha narodu (Servant of the people).
The Washington Post writes that Poroshenko’s rating was affected by scandals in the defense industry, which were used by both Zelensky and Tymoshenko. “Many political observers called the presidential elections the battle of Poroshenko and Kolomoisky,” stated WP.
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