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Черноморский научно-исследовательский центр

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2019 Presidential Election In Ukraine: How Zelensky Was Elected?
Abstract. In April 2019, Ukrainians elected their president comedian and showman Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky was more than unexpected choice for the country that wages a war with its neighbor. This article concentrates on the two rounds of 2019 presidential election. The author discusses election results, factors of electoral behavior, regional voting patterns, role of oligarchs, stand of Russia and role of the virtual space in the election. It is argued that in Ukraine, citizens chose a president without political experience hoping for a change. While one can note presence of the regular elections and changes in the leadership in Ukraine, democratic principles and procedures have not institutionalized yet. Thus, oligarchs still back the candidates. At the same time, traditional regional voting patterns are deteriorating while the role of youth is growing and particularly this is possible due to the spread of the social media. The author analyzes three groups of sources. First, the election results are studied to reveal public support for different candidates and regional voting in Ukraine. Second, data related to electoral race including party programs, surveys about public support for the candidates and debates are examined. Finally, official documents indicating policies of the Ukrainian presidents are analyzed.

Election, Poroshenko, President, Ukraine, Zelensky

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