…fol­lowed by unity

Kyiv Post - - Opinion -

Whether it's Petro Poroshenko, Yu­lia Ty­moshenko, Volodymyr Ze­len­skiy or any of the other can­di­dates, Ukraine will have only one elected pres­i­dent come April 22 for the next five years. We will have to unite be­hind this per­son. We need all los­ing can­di­dates, all Ukraini­ans and all for­eign friends to unite around a com­mon set of prin­ci­ples, be open to com­pro­mise in solv­ing our dif­fer­ences and forge ahead with the hard work ahead of build­ing a demo­cratic na­tion with a ro­bust econ­omy.

Ukraine can­not af­ford to move from one cam­paign to the next — the one for par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Oc­to­ber — right af­ter Elec­tion Day.

Ukraine has a war to fight and an econ­omy to build. It has a debt of $13 bil­lion to pay this year alone, more in fu­ture years, and it must find ways to stop the ex­o­dus of so many hun­dreds of thou­sands of its bright­est and most tal­ented peo­ple who have given up and gone abroad.

To do that, we must sup­port the next pres­i­dent, as­sum­ing the per­son up­holds demo­cratic prin­ci­ples and doesn't veer to­wards the au­thor­i­tar­i­an­ism of the past.

For this to hap­pen, the vic­tor needs to be mag­nan­i­mous and reach out to the losers, rec­og­niz­ing that the pres­i­dent rep­re­sents the whole na­tion — not only those who sup­ported him or her. The losers, in turn, must dial down their di­vi­sive rhetoric, find shared goals with the win­ner, and work to­gether to make them hap­pen. Trag­i­cally, Rus­sia has shown Ukraine what can hap­pen if we let our di­vi­sions get the best of us.

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