Ukraine Challenger Does Not Show Up At President Petro Poroshenko’s Sponsored Debate

Petro Poroshenko, walks next to an empty tribune prepared for his opponent comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy. ©REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko

RFE: Ukrainian President Arrives for Debate In Kyiv, Challenger Doesn’t

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrived at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv for a presidential election debate even though his challenger, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said he will only agree to spar with Poroshenko at the stadium five days later.

Poroshenko is to face Zelenskiy in Ukraine’s presidential runoff on April 21. Zelenskiy won the first round earlier this month by a large margin, and most, if not all, opinion polls put him well out in front of the incumbent ahead of the final vote.

Both candidates have agreed to hold a debate, but disagreed on the date.

Zelenskiy insists the debate take place on April 19 while Poroshenko wants it held on April 14.


Update #1: Ukraine leader debates alone as vote frontrunner a no-show (AFP)
Update #2: Ukraine president holds 1-man ‘debate’ before runoff vote (FOX News/AP)

WNU Editor: This debate was more of a rally for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. What I am surprised is that (according to media reports in Kiev), only a thousand Poroshenko supporters showed up. Challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be having his rally at the same spot on April 19. I am willing to bet that far more people are going to show up for him over those who showed up today for President Poroshenko. As for my prediction on the outcome of Ukraine’s Presidential runoff on April 21. It still holds …. Challenger Volodymyr Zelenskiy will win in a landslide.

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