Ukraine: Poroshenko and Zelensky clash in debate before second round

The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election opposes the outgoing Petro Poroshenko to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, a novice in politics. Two days before the election, the two competitors met on Friday, April 19, during a face to face meeting ...


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Two days away from the second round, actor Volodymyr Zelensky, 41, and incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, 53, clashed with thousands of supporters at Olimpiyski Stadium, Kiev, on April 19, 2019. REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko

The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election opposes the outgoing Petro Poroshenko to comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, a novice in politics. Two days before the election, the two competitors met Friday, April 19 during a face to face organized in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev.

With our special correspondent in Kiev , Anastasia Becchio

In front of 60,000 people, the two opponents clashed in a debate with a big show. But on arrival, the audience was mostly a deaf dialogue between the outgoing president and his rival, a favorite pollsters .

A dialogue of the deaf, especially since a good part of the public in the stands had trouble hearing what was happening at the bottom, at the end of the playground where the two candidates clashed behind desks white, surrounded by their supporters and loved ones.

Two scenes had been mounted on both sides of the lawn. Petro Poroshenko appeared first, acclaimed by his supporters, significantly more numerous than those of his opponent. Many people had been brought from the provinces by bus. After the national anthem, the head of state decided to join the tribune Volodymyr Zelensky.

The actor has been appointed to begin the debate. In his opening remarks, he insisted that he was a simple man, that he had a lot to learn. A pole quickly picked up by the president. " We see total incompetence, we face challenges that require the president's courage and international experience. How does he intend to serve as Commander-in-Chief? Petro Poroshenko replied.

" The president must come from the people, he must not be an oligarch, " said Volodymyr Zelensky. " How is it that Ukraine, one of the poorest countries, is led by the richest president in its history? Asked the comedian, who accuses his opponent of being reluctant to fight against corruption.

During the small hour of debate, the two candidates spent their time getting angry without ever really answering the questions. Nothing says that this debate will finish convincing the 15% undecided.

ref: rfi

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