On May 25 in Kiev, Lviv, and Kharkiv citizens stood in 3-hour-long lines in order to cast their votes in one of the most important presidential elections since Ukraine achieved its independence in 1991.
Without any doubt, this election was a huge improvement, compared with previous failed attempts to bring about a game-changing democratic leader. Previous elections were marred by extensive bribes, unofficial and improper use of government resources on political campaigns for various candidates as well as shadowy political negotiations.
Almost 1000 OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) observers working all over Ukraine declared the legitimacy of the early presidential elections, agreeing that they constituted a huge step forward for the prospects of Ukrainian democracy and security, both desperately vital for the people’s psychological stability inside the country.
Petro Poroshenko became the fifth democratically elected president and a media symbol for the recent revolution in Ukraine. Among the Ukrainian people he also goes by the incredibly popular nickname of “Chocolate Hare.” Poroshenko, an ambitious business leader, has been active in politics for quite some time, extending from the beginnings of Ukraine’s democracy in 1991. He’s been an important figure within the Ukrainian business arena even longer. Poroshenko holds several business interests, including his ownership of the largest confectionery business in Ukraine, basically conveying a monopoly on the national market, an automobile business, and a television news station, with Forbes estimating his net worth at more than $1 billion. Especially popular is his pro-European and anti-corruption pre-election program, including the plan to return the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine. This proposal has given Ukrainians confidence to vote for him, since his biggest opponent, Yulia Tymoshenko, is infamously known for her political and financial ties and struggle with Russia.
The newly elected president now represents several Ukrainian generations — people who do not want to look over their shoulders anymore and hope that developing closer ties with Western Europe will bring them new opportunities, literally opening the borders to the European Union.
Ukraine’s early election and new president have brought hope of a brighter future. A future absent of extensive influence of Russia over Ukrainian politics, business, and citizens’ lives. Recently, Ukraine has been struggling with various issues on political, economical, and social levels, suddenly emerging as a country, with terrorists threatening many lives in eastern regions of the country, terrorists supported by Russia, according to definitive statement made by Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk.
The Presidential Inauguration is to take place on June 6,2014. According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the list of elected officials who have confirmed their attendance at the ceremony include Polish president Bronisław Komorowski, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė, U.S. vice-president Joe Biden, and others. Russian president Vladimir Putin was not invited to take a part in official celebration. Russia will be represented their Ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov.
It remains to be seen how Petro Poroshenko will fight for the well-being of his country (if he fights at all), while serving the Ukrainian people. After 23 years of independence we’ve finally chosen a worthy representative, one who stands a chance of bringing the beginnings of peace and prosperity onto Ukrainian soil. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian nation is carefully watching the president’s every move and reminds him that he’s been given an opportunity to pluck the country out of crisis — and not to push it into complete chaos.