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    Ukraine's Elections Show Country is Own Worst Enemy

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    More and more people in Ukraine are becoming disappointed with the new authorities' inability to show progress after the 2014 Maidan coup, with the recent elections only adding weight to the feeling, according to the National Interest magazine.

    The past two years have seen more and more Ukrainian people express their dissatisfaction about the inability of the country's new authorities to make substantial progress after the Maidan coup that led to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych, according to an article by expert Gerald F. Hyman, published by the National Interest magazine.

    In an article called "Barometer of Disappointment: Ukraine’s Local Elections," Hyman discusses the October 25 polls in the country, which he said reflected the population's displeasure with the government.

    "Although technically free and fair, Ukrainian voters were presented with a substantively deficient set of choices, representing their disappointment with the transformation they justifiably anticipated," he said.

    He recalled that "much optimism prevailed" after Yanukovych's ouster, which was followed by national elections resulting in the "reform-committed coalition government of President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk."

    According to Hyman, the past two years have weakened this optimism and tested the patience of the electorate.

    "In fact an overhang of dejection now pervades much of the country (not necessarily an absolute majority) that supported reform," Hyman said.

    He specifically pointed to the fact that out of the 130 political blocs and parties that competed in the elections, just a dozen actively campaigned in two or more regions. This is why "the main contestants and therefore the winners, albeit at the local level, were constructs of local oligarchs and political patrons," according to Hyman.

    He said that in part, the lack of national representation can be explained by the parties' financial dependence on these oligarchs. But it is also the result of Poroshenko's failure to deliver on his promise to implement a reform program at the national level, he added.

    Referring to the current situation in Ukraine, Hyman pointed to the currency slump, a dramatic increase in unemployment and inflation which rode roughshod over pensioners' living standards.

    "So it is hardly surprising that poll after poll reports an acute slide in public support and patience for the new regime," he said.

    In this respect, Ukraine's main problem is not so much the alleged threat of a Russian intervention or a military action as it is the inability of the new government "to perform on the domestic program it promised and which the public expected," according to Hyman.

    "In short, to paraphrase Pogo, now the enemy is us," he concluded.


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