Two-thirds of Ukrainians believe that Ukraine needs new political leaders, 19% believe such leaders are already there. Sixty-seven percent of respondents are ready to take part in presidential elections, 20% are not; the figures regarding the parliamentary elections are 65% and 21% respectively. Such results of the public opinion poll regarding ratings of political leaders and forecasts of future elections were presented by Iryna Bekeshkina, director of Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, at a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
If presidential elections were held at the time of the poll, 12% of Ukrainians would vote for Yulia Tymoshenko, 10% – for Petro Poroshenko, 16% – for another candidate. In an open question about new political leaders Ukrainians named Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Yevhen Muraev, Vadym Rabinovych and Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “The demand for new leaders exists in a neutral part of Ukrainian voters who have not made up their mind yet and do not support neither the pro-European politicians nor the public figures who were in the “Party of Regions”. Those voters, in my opinion, are ready to vote for such figures as Zelensky. He is one of them. There is a request for non-politicians here,” said Volodymyr Fesenko, Chairman of the Board of Penta Center.
Ukrainians do not trust Government institutions – only volunteer organizations (+ 37%), the church (+ 25%), the Ukrainian Armed Forces (+ 37%) and the NGOs (+ 4%) have a positive balance of trust. Among the state institutions, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine has the highest level of trust, though its trust balance is negative at -12%. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (-76%), the state apparatus (-75%), the courts (-75%), the prosecutor’s office (-73%) have even worse trust balances.
“The greatest threat is the confrontation between the different blocs. When we see that politicians are less trusted than volunteers or NGOs, there is a strong wish of the politicians to establish such limits that society will be inspired by the feeling that they are all the same”, said Olha Aivazovska, coordinator of the election programs of the Civic Network OPORA. – Instead of relying on this trust in communication between citizens and the public sector, the struggle for political capital goes on although civil activists mostly have not declared their intentions and do not plan to go into politics”.
Despite the fact that the public sector does not plan to enter the politics, it still needs to oversee the politicians and political institutions. In the election year, it is important to form a new composition of the Central Election Commission. Without it, the legitimacy of the newly elected authorities in 2019 will be a toss-up, stressed Olha Aivazovska.
“The expert environment itself and civil society should take a more active position in making the agenda of the presidential campaign”, – summed up Kostiantyn Matviyenko, expert of the Hardaryka Strategic Consulting Corporation.