JRL NEWSWATCH: “Maybe We’ll Be Better Off With a Clown as President; Ukraine’s absurd election may turn out well for its people” – New York Times/ Alisa Sopova

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

“Branding himself ‘Ze,’ he campaigned mostly via social media postings and … touring the country with his comedy shows. Instead of substantive messages, he offered banter and mockery. … accused of being a clown instead of a serious candidate … Zelensky proudly agreed, posting a video selfie … with a round red nose …. asked to share his plans for the presidency, ‘Ze’ … said … he would ask the people … through popular referendums and ideas crowdsourcing. … Periodic uprisings that replace one figurehead with another, hopefully better, figurehead have not been enough. This abnormal election may announce a new model …. [O]rdinary Ukrainians …. have sustained democracy by keeping a check on presidential power. … Zelensky is inexperienced, politically amorphous and thought to have ties to the oligarch Ihor V. Kolomoisky. Clearly, he is no savior. But if Ukrainians can capitalize on this fact, plain as it is, the comedian’s election to the presidency could be a historic opportunity for them to help themselves.”

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