Zelenskyy will not leave office after his second term
He has formed a core electorate that sincerely loves him and fiercely attacks any criticism of their idol
The most important thing in Zoya Kazanzhy's resonant publication* is not who Zoya is, nor is it that the president is “stupid.”
For me, the main thing there is the authoritarianism of the president and, as a result, dictatorship.
It is a deep irony that in the struggle between democracies and dictatorships, authoritarian Ukraine is fighting on the side of democracies.
“I am convinced that Zelenskyy will not leave after his second term. He frankly likes power and does not hesitate to enjoy it. He has everything to keep it.”
Since assuming office, Zelenskyy has significantly reduced the independence of key institutions in Ukraine, including the Verkhovna Rada, the Cabinet of Ministers, the National Bank, the Security Service, the State Bureau of Investigation, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, and others. Decision-making power has become centralized in the president's office, where advisors make key decisions, which are then announced by government agencies as their own. This has led to a lack of a robust political process in the country. Established political parties have been marginalized, and emerging politicians often seek recognition and rewards through loyalty to the presidential administration on Bankova Street.
Crucially, Zelenskyy has cultivated a dedicated base of supporters who genuinely admire him and vigorously defend their idol against any criticism. When you suggest to these individuals that a potential dictatorship looms, they will twist their finger at their temple: what dictatorship? Zelenskyy is not like that!
Unfortunately, he is. It is not Marchenko and Kazanzhy who speak of the president's authoritarianism, but his own actions. It was Zelenskyy who summoned Smolii, the head of the National Bank, to Bankova street and kept him there until he resigned. It was Zelenskyy who initiated the United News telethon, where only he exclusively is praised. It was Zelenskyy who removed opposition TV channels from the airwaves. The list is very long and can be continued endlessly. I will only add that in a parliamentary republic, which we are according to the Constitution, the chairman of the parliament has fewer powers than not only the president, but even the head of his office.
“The danger of totalitarianism is not that Zelenskyy will rule forever and I will have to see him in office for the rest of my life, but in the ineffectiveness of totalitarian regimes.”
In 5-10 years, competent individuals in civil service will be gradually replaced by sycophants whose primary role is to cater to the leader. Ukraine and its welfare will take a back seat. It's not a good prospect.
This trend can only be reversed by business. Business has another 6 years to finance and build a middle-class party that will be the only one able to resist the dictatorship. Investing in politics is not an expense. It is an investment in the future of business. Under a dictatorship, all business will be semi-state and it will be much more expensive to feed the Office than its party.
*Zoya Kazanzhy is a Ukrainian journalist, international media trainer, public activist, writer, and blogger. Member of PEN Ukraine. Recently, she made a resonant Facebook post about her experiences and opinions regarding Ukraine’s current president.
About the author: Serhiy Marchenko, labor market expert, blogger.
The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the blog authors.