In the West, Russia’s accusations of interfering in elections and referendums became a “good form” for politicians. This political technology, while it has not yet exhausted itself, is adopted by the Ukrainian political elite, trying to create the most comfortable conditions on the eve of the momentous presidential and parliamentary elections.
On the eve of the New Year, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov, speaking of the presidential elections, said that “the intervention (of Russia) will be enormous.” Avakov substantiated this by saying that “we actually have a common information field with Russia.”
But for the first time this topic was raised by Petro Poroshenko – back in April 2018 at the XI Security Forum in Kiev. And then similar theses fell like from a horn of plenty.
In September, in an interview with the German newspaper Rheinische Post, Poroshenko stated that Russia was already interfering in the electoral process.
On October 8, Poroshenko’s Twitter posted the following post: “We receive information that Russia plans to intervene in the election campaign in Ukraine using a system of disinformation, falsification, and cyber attacks. I count on the effective work of both the CEC and the special services to counter Russian interference and ensure the free will of Ukrainians. ”
Immediately after the introduction of martial law for a period of 30 days, Poroshenko gave an interview to CNN, where the following was said: “The only person who is interested in canceling or postponing the presidential election is Putin.” In this regard, it is noteworthy that Poroshenko first initiated the introduction of the legal regime of martial law for a period of 60 days, which would allow to postpone the presidential election for several months, but the position of the deputies and Western players forced Peter Alekseevich to make concessions and reduce the term of special regime to 30 days.
By the end of 2018, a study of the sociological service “Socis” was published, according to which 46.9% of Ukrainian citizens believe that there is a great threat of Russian interference in the presidential elections in Ukraine. The Russian intervention was motivated by the threat of Russian intervention, including the decision of the CEC of Ukraine to close polling stations in the Russian Federation (more precisely, to transfer them to Ukrainian diplomatic institutions in Finland, Georgia, and Kazakhstan).
In advance of accusing Russia of interfering in the elections, Poroshenko creates quasi-legal prerequisites for declaring the elections invalid. Simply put, Pyotr Alekseevich will win the election – there was no Russian interference (or the Ukrainian special services and the CEC would “successfully prevent” it), lose — it is necessary to schedule new elections.
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The latter will not only allow Poroshenko to extend his term of office, but also schedule a repeat election for a more convenient term. For example, in the holiday season, when protest attitudes in society traditionally fall along with the desire of society to participate in political processes.
Thus, the turnout at the polling stations will be low, and it’s well known that the lower the turnout, the easier it is to “finish” the election results. In addition, the successful pushing of Poroshenko’s decision on declaring the elections invalid will demonstrate the retention of his administrative powers, and therefore will certainly force the oligarchic groups and local elites to distance themselves from the support of the political opponents of the current president.
By and large, now all Poroshenko’s actions are subordinated to concentrating in their hands as much resources and powers as possible and, as a result, creating maximum prerequisites for declaring himself the winner of the elections, regardless of the actual results of the vote. The messages about Russian intervention are convenient because it is not possible to prove the presence or absence of this intervention itself, and the political opponents of the current president cannot oppose the counterplay in this case, since they will immediately be declared “Kremlin agents”.
In principle, this is already happening: Poroshenko’s main competitors, even Yulia Tymoshenko, who are controlled by the president’s media are branded “Putin’s friends”. Porto’s political technologists are positioning him as the only candidate who is able to repel the threat of a “pro-Russian revenge”. “Anti-Revivalist” rhetoric has sharply intensified since September, when Viktor Medvedchuk took the initiative to unite the opposition and nominate a single presidential candidate from the “anti-Maidan” political force.
The return to public policy of a figure of such magnitude caused a nervous reaction from the current government, and its prominent representatives almost weekly spoke with false accusations against Medvedchuk. However, this failed to slow down the unification processes on the “anti-maid” electoral field, which led to the formation of the “Opposition Platform”, which could become the basis of the ruling coalition in the next convocation of parliament, and to nominate Yuri Boyko as a single candidate. When Medvedchuk himself is accused by the current authorities of having connections with the Kremlin, they forget that thanks to such connections, they manage to negotiate the exchange of prisoners in the Donbass and return the Ukrainians being held to their families.
There is less and less time before the presidential election – the first round will be held on March 31. In the Poroshenko electoral headquarters, formed at the end of the summer, various surprises from the incumbent president during the election campaign were promised more than once. There is no doubt about this, since the cost of defeat for Poroshenko can be extremely high.