Time for a celebratory cup of tea – then to work Petro!

Thanks to an unprecedentedly high turnout across Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko won the Ukrainian presidential elections in the 1st round of voting – a unique feat in and of itself here.

The pluses for Ukraine are a fiscal saving by avoiding the costs of a second round, but far more importantly in the current circumstances, is the saving of time.

The media will be alive with “What Poroshenko should do/must do” commentary during his first “90/100 days”.

However, whatever the media and analysts/experts think he “must/should do” does not necessarily correlate to what he will do – and this is what I think he will do:

Naturally, once sworn in, President Poroshenko need immediately deal with issues in the east of the nation.  How he will choose to do that will no doubt become clear very swiftly after his inauguration.  Regardless of whether force, dialogue or a combination of both are his policy of choice, he would be wise to make his first domestic visit to Donetsk.

Equally as important will be a rapid clearing of the military and police ranks of untrusted leaders and infiltrators.  Likewise the judicial system.  It doesn’t have to be perfect immediately, but significant dynamic  progress swiftly sends a message internally and externally of those institutions.  An ability to return to some form of rule of law without armed paramilitary/voluntary groups is required as soon as possible.

He will wait for a short time to see how the RADA is working and how friendly it will be toward his policies, before making any decisions regarding its fate.

Next, a visit to the EU – not for self-aggrandisement, mutual backslapping and photo ops.  The priority is to discover just how much support he and Ukraine can expect – as opposed to naively hope for – and in what areas that support will come – or not.  Blunt talking required.  He will also sign the Association Agreement without unnecessary delay.

Then comes the time to open lines of communication with The Kremlin – either directly, in association with others, or via third parties.  Perhaps witnesses are not a bad idea considering the double-talk that now seems to be the only language it knows regarding Ukraine.

Thereafter, his priorities will be more mundane.  The usual headaches for all leaders of nations regarding the political, economic and social spheres and the problems therein – that exist in orders of magnitude for Ukraine.

Whether it can all be achieved with satisfactory results within the preferred “90/100 days” time frame pundits like, I am not sure.  Perhaps.

However, I am not about to state what any new president must or should do – how conceited to think he doesn’t know?  – the above is what I think he will do, and in the order he will do it (pretty much).