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Ukrainian presidential candidates’ election programs

April 19, 16:51 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A runoff is scheduled to take place on April 21

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© REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Ukraine is scheduled to hold its presidential runoff on April 21. The elections will pit TV comic actor Vladimir Zelensky nominated from the Servant of the People party against incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko running as a self-nominated candidate. None of the 39 original contenders for the presidency passed the 50% threshold in the first round of the elections on March 31, 2019, following which the presidential runoff was announced in Ukraine. In the first round of the presidential elections, Zelensky secured the support of 30.24% of the voters while Poroshenko gained 15.95%.
TASS compared the election programs of the two presidential contenders by their key points.

 

Ukraine’s EU and NATO membership

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Ukraine’s movement towards NATO and other alliances is a guarantee of our security, in which I believe, and which should get its confirmation through an all-Ukrainian referendum."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"Our mission is to become a member of the European Union and NATO. It is only full-fledged membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance that will finally and irreversibly guarantee our Ukrainian state independence, and our Ukrainian national security. … In 2023, we will apply for accession to the EU, and we will embark on fulfilling the NATO Membership Action Plan."

Crimea and Donbass conflict, relations with Russia


Vladimir Zelensky:

"We must win peace for Ukraine. We will call on the Budapest Memorandum guarantors and the EU partners to address the issue of Ukraine’s support in its desire to end the war, return the temporarily occupied territories and force the aggressor to compensate for the damage done. The surrender of national interests and territories cannot be a subject of any negotiations."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"We will continue the policy of restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, returning the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions and Crimea through political and diplomatic methods, ensuring the unity of the pro-Ukrainian coalition in the world, using the instrument of sanctions and the mechanism of the UN international mission on the entire territory of the occupied Donbass region. … The occupant country will bear responsibility for the damage inflicted and will be forced to compensate for it through international legal mechanisms."

 

Armed Forces

Vladimir Zelensky:

"A professional army should … be a prestigious service where the skills and knowledge gained will be successfully applied in the real sector of the economy as well. The defense budget should stop being ‘a gravy train’ for ‘armchair generals’ and should ensure worthy conditions for a soldier’s service and development. … My task is to guarantee that the servicemen’s pay should be on par with NATO standards.

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"Strengthening the armed forces, upgrading them and providing them with the latest arms and military hardware remain our top priority. … We will complete creating a solid anti-ballistic missile and air defense system. Next on the agenda is a radical modernization of Ukraine’s Fleet and Air Force. … We will raise the level of social security provisions for servicemen and expand the scope of support for the families of war veterans."

 

Fight against corruption

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Zero tolerance for corruption at all levels. Any person suspected of corruption won’t be released on bail. An individual convicted of corruption will be slapped with property confiscation and a lifetime ban on holding government posts. A person exposing corruption will get state protection and will be rewarded financially. … The aim is that you must not give or take bribes and those who breach these rules will be jailed!"

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"Following the example of our neighbors in the European Union, the anti-corruption agencies will eradicate corruption at the highest level."

 

Economy and investment

Vladimir Zelensky:

"The top priority tasks for economic development are to bring the underground economy out of the shadows, ensure freedom of competition, build up domestic production and provide cheap long-term lending. As president, I will be the guarantor for each large investor who will come to Ukraine."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"Our strategy of shifting from a deep crisis and the struggle for survival to sustainable development is based on those economic sectors where we can gain leading positions. … We will focus our efforts on attracting investment and assisting the export of products with high added value. A separate priority involves support for Ukrainian science and assistance to its close interaction with the real sector of the economy."

 

Infrastructure

Vladimir Zelensky:

"The country needs a major overhaul of its infrastructure. The construction of roads using European standards, the automated control of vehicles’ weight and speed, the reconstruction of airports in each regional center, the signing of the ‘Open Skies’ Agreement with the EU and the removal of monopoly in the transport sector are my priorities."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"In order to tap the potential of the Ukrainian economy, it is necessary to turn it into Europe’s transport and logistics hub. This requires modernizing the transport infrastructure. The financial resources of national and international infrastructural funds and private investments will be used for this purpose."

 

Medicine and education

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Doctors and teachers should become prestigious and highly-paid professions. Hospitals and schools will get modern equipment and their infrastructure will be upgraded. … The transition to insured medicine is the most important step in healthcare."
"We will introduce the principle: ‘money follows a talented student.’ Each school genius will get an educational voucher, which he or she will be able to spend on education in any chosen higher educational institution."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"We will launch a large-scale program of renovating healthcare institutions across Ukraine. … We will complete the healthcare reform aimed at raising the quality and accessibility of healthcare services, including in the countryside, and at increasing the salaries of the medical staff."

"We will channel investment in education into raising the salaries of teachers and lecturers. … We will assist the effort to involve English native speakers in the work in Ukrainian schools. … The basic principle of our policy is that ‘money follows people.’ This refers to the educational reform, changes in the health care system, the social security policy and any other reform."

Social sphere

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Each child has the right to accumulate on his or her account a part of proceeds from the government’s sale of natural resources (subsoil resources, lands, etc.). After reaching adulthood, a child will get these accumulated funds as his or her own start-up capital. … We will re-launch the programs of housing lending for the youth."

"The elder generation should get worthy pension provision. We will switch over from the ‘pay-as-you-go’ system to the funded pension scheme. All the insurance payments made by a person over his or her life won’t disappear in insurance funds and will be inherited. We will convert privileges and subsidies into cash compensations."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"The growth of wages will help constantly raise pensions as well, thus ensuring their worthy level. … We will increase child birth and child care allowances, especially for families with three children and more."

"We must concentrate social support on low-income people, be them lone elderly people, disabled persons or families with many children."

 

Taxes

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Taxes will become simple and understandable. The corporate profit tax will be replaced by the tax on distributed profits, which will give business more freedom for development and reduce administrative pressure. … Young entrepreneurs will get state support and enjoy a year of concessional taxation."

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"We will continue the policy [of reducing the tax burden] by replacing the corporate profit tax by the tax on capital withdrawal from the country."

 

Ukrainization

Vladimir Zelensky did not touch upon the issue of the Ukrainian language in his election program.

Pyotr Poroshenko:

"We will continue the policy of supporting the Ukrainian language as the sole state language. We will expand support for cultural projects - the cinema, music, books and other areas. We will support the development of local cultural establishments that will become modern centers for developing communities."

 

Energy sector

Vladimir Zelensky:

"Ukraine must switch to meeting its needs through its own energy resources, eventually turning into their exporter on the European market."

Pyotr Poroshenko did not touch upon the issue of energy security in his election program.

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