A comedian is hot favorite to be Ukraine’s next president – so what are his policies?April 17, 2019
Ukraine’s conflict with Russia couldn’t have come at a worse time and in 2014, when the country was in recession and its financial sector under significant stress the country was forced to ask the International Monetary Fund for financial aid.
The Fund granted a $17.5 billion aid package in 2015 but it had strict conditions attached, including implementing a reform program designed to improve financial stability, reduce a fiscal deficit, eliminate losses in the energy sector, tackle corruption and improve governance.
The aid program did not go altogether smoothly with the IMF delaying the release of aid in early 2017 due to the slow pace of reforms — increasing household gas prices being one of the main bones of contention.
Ukraine received a further $3.9 billion IMF credit line in December 2018 to get it through a potentially turbulent political year with the presidential election and parliamentary elections due in October this year.
Otilia Dhand, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, told CNBC Wednesday that what Ukrainians care about when it comes to the economy differs to what investors and institutions like the IMF want to see.
“There is only a small part (of Zelensky’s program) that deals with the economy but that’s not what the average man on the street cares about…It’s formulated as an economy for citizens but that doesn’t answer questions that institutions and investors would be asking about Ukraine,” she noted.
“That’s the problem. The program appeals to citizens, but the ones that are keeping Ukraine financially stable are institutions and markets,” Dhand said, noting that questions are now being asked over what Zelensky really intends to do if, and when, he’s in office.
“Is he really able to implement any of his ideas without political clout? The worst issue for international markets about a candidate without any political experience is how is he going to form a majority in parliament and steer the economy through tough adjustments – like an increase in gas prices?”
Source of this (above) article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/17/ukraine-election-comedian-zelensky-is-favorite-to-be-ukraine-president.html