The most important thing said on the eve of the second tour of the elections was sounded by psychologist Halyna Hurak. Whoever becomes the president, the Ukrainians should try to find the positive trait in the winner. If it is impossible, it is not the reason to fall into despair; the chance to change him will come in five years. It is more important to “understand what is more valuable: mental health or loss of a candidate?”. In other words, keep calm and carry one. Only time will show what we are going to have after April 21. And now let’s talk about this historical day, which brought incredible joy and a great responsibility to Volodymyr Zelensky.
Loud “silence day”
It seems that candidate Volodymyr Zelensky was very nervous on Saturday due to two reasons. The first incident concerned his wife Olena. The possible First Lady had to publicly explain why she reposted LifeNews in 2014 and urged to send videos of the movement of the Ukrainian troops for about $230.
“I did not know then about all technical feature of the Facebook. I did not know that it is forbidden to repost the actions of the Russian propagandists with indignations. Because Facebook can not snow the text but it can remain the links. I did not know and it was not a good time for such knowledge. We were all shocked about things happening in our country,” Olena wrote on Facebook. She also noted that she does not remember whose post she reposted. She also added: “I invite everyone to my page. To see what I wrote then. What I reposted. About what things I was thinking about.”
Some people believed Olena and some did not but this story with repost was forgotten due to another, more tangible news story. The sixth Appeal Court of Kyiv received the lawsuit of observer Andriy Khylko, who demanded the cancelation of the registration of Zelensky as the candidate for the presidency. Khylko accused Zelensky of spreading the tickets for debates at Olympic Stadium for free. The claimant treated these actions as “bribery of the voters.”
However, the court found the demands of the claimant ungrounded. There are some conditions when the candidate can be removed from the presidential race: his incapacity, emigration abroad or his own will to quit. Concerning the bribery fact, even if takes place, the Central Election Commission can only warn the candidate but cannot cancel his participation.
The most interesting fact is that the court on this case gathered at the night on April 21 and delivered its decision on the election day. Sunday’s morning has begun calmly. About 18% of the voters voted during the first three hours of the elections. Only one polling station with 680 voters did not open in time. The issue is about Lebedynske, Donetsk regions. It is a settlement at the demarcation line in Donbas. The election commission started its work only at 4 p.m.
Zelensky with fried egg, Lyashko with branch, Kuchma with advice
Volodymyr Zelensky was the first out of two candidates who performed his civic duty. About 11 a.m. he arrived in Obolon district along with 12 guards and his wife Olena. The candidate noted that he has not slept during the whole night due to the excitement and had breakfast of fried eggs and coffee with his family in the morning. Olena Zelenska played music of Eminem for him. And activist of Femen showed herself to Zelensky; she was naked and met him with shouts: “Stop raping the country!”.
In an hour, current President Petro Poroshenko voted at his polling station. Poroshenko did not support the flashmob launched by singer Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, he came for voting in the suit instead of vyshyvanka. Maryna Poroshenko also did not wear vyshyvanka and was in the coat with ethnic motives. Poroshenko was accompanied by his family.
Oleg Lyashko was wearing vyshyvanka. But the leader of the Radical Party decided to ignore the second tour of the elections because he was not included to the ballot. Lyashko decided to do his Christian duty instead of the civic one along with branches and his wife Rosita as election day coincided with the Branch Sunday. “I go to the church. Today is a great holiday. Let’s not talk about the election. Let me rest for a minute,” he said.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy combined the religious feast with the celebration of the expression of will. “I sincerely congratulate all Ukrainian on the Branch Sunday! I have already voted. Today we choose the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Today we vote for the Euro-Atlantic choice of Ukraine. I urge you to come and vote for Ukraine! We will win!” Parubiy wrote on Facebook.
Third president of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko also could not avoid pathos. “I want to keep the freedom for us; to keep the state for us forever, - he signed the photo, which showed him voting, - I have made my choice. You will make your own choice because everything depends only on you. We should go forward no to make our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to start from the very beginning. I choose free, strong and fair Ukraine. We can, and Ukraine will win.”
His colleague Leonid Kuchma was more restrained. When Kuchma came to the polling place, he noted that he is truly sorry for the future president. “You all understand: the war with no end in sight takes place, divided Ukraine, economy on the verge of default. I will not list all existent issues because they were well known to everyone,” Ukraine's second president said. He also recommended the future head of the state: “To promise less and to do more. Because we have seen today: what was promised during the election campaign, with what things we came after five years and which results we got… So, the most important thing today is, to be honest, and upstanding before people. Because, if people trust him, then the issue will be solved not the same way as it took place earlier.”
Do not vote hungry
It is obvious that some incidents took place during the second round of the elections. In Nikopol, Dnipropetrovsk region, a drunken man joked about mined polling station. And he thought that a single joke is not enough. He repeated this information a few times and only then took the ballot and went to the voting booth. He threw the backpack on the floor and stated that it is a bomb as he was living the polling station. It turned out not to be the truth.
The more original idea took place in Kryvy Rih. A drunk woman tried to eat her ballot. She almost did it. The members of the commission succeeded to grab a piece of the ballot out of woman’s mouth. “Do not come for voting hungry,” ex-member of the Central Election Commission Andriy Megera said.
Mykola Buchyn, the Representative of the Voters’ Committee expressed the fair opinion about the violations. He thinks that the majority of the cases were initiated by the voters. “The society is too polarized; the sparkle is enough to cause an explosion. So, it is possible to predict that exactly the voters instead of the organizers will potentially cause the majority of the offenses”. It is absolutely disadvantageous for the organizers to cause the incidents. “One of them is not interested because the sociology shows that he leads the rating, and he is not interested in doubting of his possible victory. The second candidate decided to show that the Ukrainian authority is possible to hold democratic elections,” the expert noted.
Generally, the Voters’ Committee noted the violations with the voting without a passport, taking of the voters to the polling stations and manipulations with ballots. The committee reported that the manipulative information on the filling of the ballots was spread on the social networks. “It is mentioned that it is necessary not only to vote for one of the candidates but also to cross off the name of another candidate in front of his name. One of such messages was reposted over 35,000 times on Facebook,” the committee warned.
Meanwhile, Volodymyr Zelensky’s Headquarters complained about the violations during the voting. HQ’s coordinator Oleksandr Kornienko got 590 messages about violations at the polling stations during the second tour of the elections as he stated. “There were the delays with the opening of the number of the polling stations, particularly, the head of the electoral commission did not appear at two polling stations; the members of the commission were setting out the ballots for a long period of time… The majority of the messages on the violations concerns the lists,” Kornienko said during the briefing in Kyiv. But the cases of the bribery of the voters took place in Kyiv region. “There are since reports about the attempts to pressure the voters,” he added.
Meanwhile, the leader of ZeTeam also violated the law, showing his ballot with a proper sign. He got the compiled administrative protocol. “New presidents – new rules. Everyone should live by the law!” Dmytro Razumkov, the political strategist, commented on the incident.
According to the Interior Ministry, the law enforcers spotted 1068 messages about violations of the electoral legislation. Besides, 12 criminal cases were opened. Generally, Dnipropetrovsk, Kyiv, and Donetsk regions became the leaders of the violations. The number of conflicts at the polling stations sharply increased in the afternoon.
Ivan Stoiko, the Advisor of Interior Ministry stated that the majority of the messages concerned the illegal agitations, making of photos, damage of the ballots. Besides, eight attempts of the bribery of the voters took place. No serious violations were spotted.”
“The resonant message, which we have are: the message on the recording of a few bonded ballots were sent to Avdiivka police. In Kirovohrad region, a citizen spotted damaged seal. In Ivano-Frankivsk region, a simple paper instead of the ballot was thrown to the ballot box. One citizen died at the polling station in Ternopil region,” Artem Shevchenko reported.
The results of the National exit poll published at 8 p.m. became the final chord. The research was held by three sociological companies: Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies named after Oleksandr Razumkov, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, and Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.
According to the exit poll of New Image Marketing Group published by 112 Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky gets 73,7% of the votes. Petro Poroshenko gained 26,3% of the votes.
According to the National exit poll, Volodymyr Zelensky has 73,2%, while Petro Poroshenko got 25,3%.
Finally, 1+1 exit poll stated that Zelensky has 72,7% of the votes and Poroshenko – 27,3%.
Now, we should wait until the announcement of the official results of the elections. The Central Election Commission should publish the official report on the results of the second tour at Holos Ukrayiny and Uryadovy Kurier (official outlets of Ukraine's parliament and cabinet) not later than May 4.
The inauguration of a new president of Ukraine should take place until June 3 at the solemn session of the Verkhovna Rada. Volodymyr Zelensky will be announced new, sixth president of Ukraine and its Commander-in-Chief. Consequently, a new page in the history of Ukraine will be opened.