As Ukraine prepares to elect a president May 25, it’s important to remember that the country, despite its political difficulties of recent years, has established a track record of holding credible nationwide elections, Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson said in a video interview. Sunday’s vote faces the particular challenges of the Russian-backed secessionist violence in two southeastern provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk. But pre-election polls also indicate the possibility of an unprecedented and positive outcome, because they reflect high levels of support both in east and west Ukraine for the same candidate.

While Ukraine has routinely divided sharply between east and west in presidential polls, business magnate Petro Poroshenko is showing the potential to draw an unprecedentedly unified vote of support nationwide.  If Sunday’s voting reflects any such erosion of the past divide, it will help consolidate the legitimacy of the elected government, Wilson noted.

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