The 2019 Presidential elections were a test of maturity for Ukrainian civil society.
Outcome of the participation of a number of political parties in the first round of the elections clearly confirmed that the ideology of nationalism today cannot be the factor of unification of a political nation. The advocacy of national interests and the ideology of nationalism are not identical concepts, and torch marches in a modern globalized world do not pave the road to a better future.
The Greens are convinced of the fact, that the core of a unifying national idea consists in shared ecological responsibility and ecological solidarity in order to prevent large-scale environmental threats. However, today’s environmental challenges were left out of the attention of all presidential candidates without exception. Marginal references to environment in the programs of individual participants of the presidential race did not compensate for their general lack of understanding of the priority of implementation of an integrated environmental policy, systemic response to climate change, transition to environmentally balanced production and consumption, etc.
Crucially important roles were played by manipulative media techniques, aimed at instilling wrong ideas in public awareness on individual personalities as well as on the essence of democratic development. The current President Petro Poroshenko became an object of a large-scale, targeted and deliberate smear campaign, in which he was held responsible for the overall performance of all, without exception, branches of power, state bodies, institutions and officials, on which he has no direct influence, in particular, he cannot perform the functions of anti-corruption and other law enforcement agencies.
The President represents the state, however, he does not personify it, which should be taken into account, in particular, by supporters of the rival candidate Volodymyr Zelensky, who, if elected, promises to do things that might go far beyond his presidential powers.
Despite the high chances of Mr. Zelensky being voted into office, the general public still has no idea of his vision of the country's development model, ways of combating external aggression and foreign policy priorities, instruments of socio-economic development, etc. By refraining from public debate and avoiding direct contact with voters, he leaves a number of vital issues for our society unanswered. After all, it remains a mystery why and what were the specific reasons, which suddenly prompted a person who never engaged in either political or social activity, never worked in state institutions, nor a leader of public opinion, nor a moral authority, to seek the highest office of our state.
Experience and competence of a person, who will occupy the post of the President for the next five years, his or her ability to exercise powers, as envisaged by the Constitution in a responsible and qualified way for the proper protection of national interests will have a decisive and historic significance for our country.
Therefore, Mr. Zelensky is not an acceptable alternative to the current President, who, in spite of all his mistakes and hardships, effectively advocates national interests in conditions of external aggression, adheres to the path of European integration, promotes the development of civil society institutions and strengthens the platform of participatory governance. The very flow of events of the present election campaign bears a clear testimony to this.
“Zeleni Proty Zelenskoho” (Greens Against Zelensky) is our slogan, because there is no real bases for relating his possible Presidency with a better future for Ukraine.
Irrespective of who becomes the winner, the availability of viable mechanisms of public oversight and monitoring of Presidential functions is of greater significance. For this reason, the Green Party of Ukraine urges – the current President, before the second round of elections, to submit a draft Law on Impeachment to the Verkhovna Rada for urgent consideration; and – the voters – to be guided by common sense while making a sensible choice that will affect the lives of each of them.