Poroshenko Victory Could Mark Ukraine's Turning Point
BMI View: The landslide victory for Petro Poroshenko in the first round of Ukraine's presidential elections held on May 25 marks the best-case scenario possible for the country, despite disruption to voting in several areas in Eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, considerable economic and political challenges must be addressed over the coming months.
In line with poll predictions, Petro Poroshenko emerged as the victor in the Ukrainian presidential elections held May 25, winning around 54% of the vote with turnout estimated to be high across the country. Voting was not held in Crimea, which remains under Russian control, while separatists successfully disrupted election proceedings in some areas of Luhansk and Donetsk, in line with our recent warnings ( see 'Presidential Election Faces Huge Challenges', 20 May 2014). Nonetheless, under the circumstances, the election was relatively successful, with turnout likely to be in excess of 50%, and as high as 80% or more in many of the Western oblasts.
Poroshenko's landslide victory represents the best case scenario for Ukraine at this juncture. The decisive first round victory has made it harder for Russia to disrupt the elections or dispute the results. In a positive development for our de-escalation view, early indications are that the Kremlin is prepared to establish relations with the new government. Having being presented as the unity candidate, Poroshenko's victory is also likely to herald a major blow to separatist movements in south-eastern Ukraine, although the inability of voters to cast their ballots in some areas of these regions may slightly diminish Poroshenko's mandate.
|Landslide For Poroshenko|
|Ukraine - 2014 Presidential Election Map|