10:56 GMT30 May 2020
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    The popularity of Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and his government has fallen so sharply that current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk didn’t even bother putting forward candidates from his party during this weekend’s election in Ukraine.

    This could lead to a split in Poroshenko's political coalition, a union that failed to keep their promises, turning Ukraine into the second-poorest country in Europe in less than two years.

    In addition, Poroshenko couldn't deal with the large-scale corruption problems in the country. The election is going to be tough for the current Ukrainian President, AFP said.

    The election is also taking place amidst the West's refusal to send arms to Ukrainian forces with the Eastern European nations receiving only financial aid with tough austerity strings attached.

    "With poverty growing, people may come out running to vote for the populist parties," Anatoliy Oktysyuk, a representative of Kiev's International Centre for Policy Studies, told AFP.

    The polls opened at 8.00 a.m. local time (06:00 GMT) and will close at 8.00 p.m. (18:00 GMT). Some 69 percent of all eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots.

    The eastern Ukrainian self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics aren't participating in the elections. The voting in eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk is taking place only in regions under Kiev's control. Previously the republics planned to hold their elections before October 25, but later agreed to postpone them until 2016.

    The vote count will be finished by November 4 and the results of the local elections in Ukraine should be published within five days.


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    economic collapse, corruption, populism, election, Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine
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