On Sunday, Ukrainians will be voting for a new President. This election is the first of its kind since the 2004 Orange Revolution. However, political analysts do not expect an outright winner after Sunday’s polls.
Viktor Yanukovich is the front-runner. Victory for him would mark a turnaround for the man previously backed by Moscow. Six years ago Yanukovich was declared the winner of a fraudulent election. He is popular in the Russian-speaking south and east of the country.
The main challenger to Yanukovich is current prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. She has a more populist approach, and there are fears that if she wins, necessary structural reforms will not be pushed through.
Some see the election as business as usual. Political analyst, Vitaliy Portnikov says: “For Ukrainians, there’s nothing new in choosing between Yanukovich and Tymoshenko. It’s just another poll for the people who have been governing Ukraine for the last five years. Only, this time minus Yuschenko. There used to be three, but now there are two. But as far as things like morals and efficiency are concerned, little has changed.”
However, there may be an upset on Sunday. Former Central Bank Chairman, Sergey Tigipko has been experiencing a surge in popularity and could beat Tymoshenko to second place.
Ukrainians are disillusioned with current president, Viktor Yushchenko. Political and financial crises mean it is unlikely he will make it to the run-off.