Former President Petro Poroshenko will be questioned by Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations today.
Mr Poroshenko is facing eight criminal accusations, which include corruption and high treason over the former president’s handling of last November’s Kerch Strait incident.
Ahead of parliamentary elections this Sunday, today’s questioning could not come at a more unfavourable time for Mr Poroshenko. His European Solidarity party is currently polling third with 7% support, well behind the 38% enjoyed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People Party. Considering Mr Zelenskiy won April’s presidential runoff with a massive 73% of the vote after running an anti-corruption campaign, Mr Poroshenko’s slim support could be eroded further today.
This would be good news for President Zelenskiy, who needs as many seats in parliament as he can muster to pass a complex reform agenda, which includes the abolishment of parliamentary immunity. Reforms are necessary to boost Ukraine’s economic development and make the country more attractive to potential investors.
Concerns remain over Mr Zelenskiy’s connections to Ukraine’s powerful oligarchy. Nevertheless, a decisive victory on Sunday will leave him in a strong position to implement reforms. Whether he chooses to is another question entirely, although failure to deliver on his election promises would likely see his popularity plummet quickly and could spark instability.
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Alex is a senior analyst in the Current Developments team with a primary focus on the Americas. He also serves as an editor on The Daily Brief.