Presidential vote may not bridge regional divide in Ukraine

Pew Research: This Sunday’s presidential election in Ukraine may do little to unite a nation riven by ongoing separatist movements in the country’s east, and haunted by the March secession of Crimea. Our April survey found that businessman Petro Poroshenko, the leading candidate – according to a local poll conducted earlier this month – is much more popular in the country’s west than in the east, where doubts are widespread not only about the candidates but the fairness of the election itself.

Our poll, conducted before the list of presidential candidates had been finalized, found that Poroshenko was the most liked among four contenders tested. Overall, a modest majority of Ukrainians (54%) gave Poroshenko a favorable rating. By comparison, only three-in-ten offered a positive view of the country’s first female prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko (30%), and nationalist politician Oleg Tyagnibok (30%). Even fewer (15%) were favorable toward Mykhaylo Dobkin, former governor of Ukraine’s eastern Kharkiv region. [Continue reading…]

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