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    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko attends a panel discussion 'The Future of the West: Downfall or Comeback?' during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Feb. 17, 2017

    The One and Only? Why Ukraine Needn't Rule Out Alternatives to Poroshenko

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    With the presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for 2019, Russian political analyst Maxim Zharov told Sputnik that it's irrelevant to assert that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lacks any suitable rivals.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Russian political analyst Maxim Zharov countered Ukrainian media assertions that there is no alternative to Ukraine's current President Petro Poroshenko. 

    Poroshenko won the early presidential elections in Ukraine in the first round on May 25, 2014. The next elections are slated for 2019, but Ukrainian media reported the possibility of holding early elections due to Poroshenko's poor approval rating.

    The Ukrainian news website Strana referred to the latest opinion poll by the rating group which revealed that at least 82 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with Poroshenko's activities as the Ukrainian President.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko adress the media after a meeting at the German government guesthouse Meseberg Palace in Meseberg, Germany, May 20, 2017
    © REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko adress the media after a meeting at the German government guesthouse Meseberg Palace in Meseberg, Germany, May 20, 2017

    At the same time, Strana reported that recently, even skeptics who had repeatedly criticized Poroshenko have started floating the idea that there is no alternative to him as president.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Russian political analyst Maxim Zharov said in this regard that Poroshenko is not the only candidate for the presidency.

    Even given this, the situation may drastically change in Ukraine ahead of the 2019 presidential elections, according to Zharov.

    "I do not think that there is no alternative to President Poroshenko. With the presidential elections due in 2019, speaking of Poroshenko's re-election amid a situation where everything changes literally every day in Ukraine is irrelevant," he said.

    Zharov added that "one should only talk about Poroshenko's prospects in the presidential elections after the vote begins [in 2019]."

    At the same time, despite the low approval rating of the Ukrainian President, maintaining the status quo is beneficial for many in Ukraine and beyond, according to Zharov.

    "Many can benefit from Poroshenko because he is able to maintain a certain shaky status quo where nothing fundamentally changes. Balancing on the brink, Poroshenko manages to preserve this status, which is being 'grasped' by other countries. This is why speculation is rife that there is no alternative to Poroshenko as president, and I think that the peak of all this is yet to come," Zharov said.

    In his opinion, the EU and the US stance will have decisive importance in determining the "prospective" candidates for Ukraine's presidency in the next term.

    "I think that former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk may well be considered both a candidate for the post of head of the National Bank of Ukraine and as a candidate for the presidency, because this is a person with whom they are used to dealing with both in the EU and the US," he added.

    Ukrainian Armed Forces
    © Photo : President of the Ukraine Press-Service
    According to Zharov, "for major 'holders of the stock of shares' in the Ukraine project, Yatsenyuk is understandable, which is why he has the opportunity to become Poroshenko's successor," Zharov pointed out.

    "Oddly enough, but for the same reason another former Ukrainian Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, can be seen as Poroshenko's successor," he said.

    "Despite the fact that Tymoshenko 'went out of fashion' in Ukraine and her best times in Ukrainian politics have already passed, the West still accepts and understands her. This is almost the key condition for a presidential candidate to succeed in Ukraine's presidential elections," Zharov concluded.

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    presidential elections, candidate, status, condition, project, European Union, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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