Ukrainian Expert Aleksey Yakubin: Autocephaly Can Boost Poroshenko’s Approval Rating by Only 2%

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The political scientist Aleksey Yakubin estimated Poroshenko’s chances of winning in the 2019 elections. 
He considers that the president chose the wrong strategy and his calculations will not come true.

The triad “Army. Faith. Language” became the slogan of the electoral campaign of Poroshenko:

“The religious question in Ukraine turned into an electoral campaign. And the president tries to promote the triad ‘Army. Belief. Language’,” said the political scientist Aleksey Yakubin.

The political scientist said that Poroshenko identifying himself with a religion is absurd, since the head of state is supposed to represent the interests of all citizens equally:

“It is just absurd. We did not elect the president as the Patriarch or a spokesman for the will of a certain religion. We elected a representative of the will of all citizens of Ukraine: atheists, agnostics, etc.

And the president speaks on behalf of the orthodox faith, violating our rights and those who practise other religions,” explains the political scientist.

Aleksey Yakubin considers that Poroshenko chose such tactics in order to hide the failures in the socio-economic sphere:

“Since the authorities cannot show achievements in the socio-economic sphere, which it should do, it tries to offer us the religious questions.

But it is a religion ersatz: the authorities do not raise the issue of resolving the split,” added the expert.

The political scientist gave America as an example, where the president isn’t allowed to make such steps – his religious views should not be above the interests of the state:

“Imagine if Kennedy – the only Catholic president in the history of the US – had started to impose on Americans a united local Catholic church, justifying it by saying that it is the only correct one, and that the Protestants conspired with the Kremlin. He wouldn’t reach Dallas, he’d be immediately impeached. And our President understands very well that he violates the Constitution,” said Yakubin.

According to the expert, the president actively inflated the church topic, realising his low approval rating. He hopes for a political strategy miracle:

“The various sociology polls show a 5-7% approval rating and a 70% anti-rating [a kind of disproval rating – ed]. This pushes him to search for a miracle, a political strategy miracle. But there is a miscalculation, like there is with the army: this topic will mobilise the president’s opponents.

The ‘Opposition Bloc‘ of Boyko has already acted: it stated that there has to be clear distance between the state and the church. And they will go to the elections with this, implementing a ‘return to the Constitution’.”

However, even if the Tomos that Poroshenko is waiting for is granted, his approval rating will improve by only 2%:

“And on the other hand, sociology polls show that the granting of Tomos will give the President, at best, a 2% boost — at the level of a statistical error.

The triad of the President is falling apart and isn’t perceived sincerely. People say: ‘We already go to see God, so what use is there for Bankova Street?’.”

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