There is bad news just before the Kiev mayoral elections. Former boxing world champion Vitali Klitschko suffered the corona virus before his possible re-election as mayor in the capital Kiev.
The 49-year-old announced this on Saturday evening in various social networks. “Friends! The coronavirus hit at the most inopportune moment,” he said in view of election Sunday. “I feel good.” He tried to protect himself, but working as mayor in times of pandemics also means constant risk. Klitschko said he had been tested regularly and now continues to work from self-isolation.
The former boxing world champion wants to defend his position at the top of the Ukrainian capital on Sunday. The growing number of people infected with corona is alarming, but it gives him the opportunity to present himself as a caring politician. Klitschko had an extra batch of masks and disinfectants distributed to the polling stations. Citizens are not allowed to stay at home for fear of infection.
It’s about more than the mayor’s office. Kiev is the largest and richest city in the country. Whoever runs the city is one of the most powerful politicians in the country. In fact, he ranks third in the hierarchy, after the president and head of government. In Kiev, the country’s political fate has been decided several times since independence, most recently during the protests in Maidan six years ago. Klitschko has been the mayor of Kiev ever since.
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The 49-year-old wants to decide on the elections in the first round, he is fighting for an absolute majority. The result is hardly achievable if you trust surveys, but it is not impossible. Klitschko needs a high degree of participation for this, his team needs to bring the citizens to the polls. Therefore the masks and the disinfectant.
Selenski has tried several times to push Klitschko from office
If Klitschko achieves such a victory, it would be like a referendum against President Volodymyr Zelensky. At least his team is convinced of that. The decisive opponent is not the politicians who now oppose him. His opponent is the head of state. Since taking office, Zelensky has been campaigning against the most famous Ukrainian in the world.
The Mistake: Klitschko is part of a system the president promised to end. A system in which different groups of oligarchs have alternated in power since they gained independence nearly 30 years ago, but in the end a real reform process has always been left out.
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Selenski has already made several attempts to push Klitschko from office. But he is trusted by the inhabitants of the capital. Much more than the other candidates, who would only have a chance if they all took on him together. His critics believe that Klitschko’s services are nothing more than PR, such as the glass bridge in the city center or the illuminated fountains.
Above all, Klitschko must be accused of not being able to control corruption.
However, the posters show that he is rolling up his sleeves. He is present – on social networks and especially on the street. Even on foot and with the driving edge. Klitschko has helped the city through the pandemic so far well by following the tough course he saw among the mayors of Italian cities. Corona helped Klitschko to profile herself as a doer. Until the last day before the vote.