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      By Michael A. Cirami, CFA, Co-Director of Global Income, Eaton Vance Management and Eric Stein, CFA, Co-Director of Global Income, Eaton Vance Management

      Boston: Last week's election of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine's presidential election holds the potential for an exciting new chapter in the country's politics. Zelensky is a political outsider widely known for a career in show business, first as a comedian and recently, as star of a popular TV series in which he plays president. However, he has received far less publicity as an entrepreneur who created the most successful content production company in Ukraine, and was subsequently invited to run a major TV station.

      Zelensky won the second round of the election with more than 70% of the vote against Petro Poroshenko, who has been in power for five years. Poroshenko had become deeply unpopular for failure to curb corruption and poverty, and for the ongoing war with Russia.

      The election was an impressive achievement for Ukraine, as another competitive contest that unseated a sitting president, in a peaceful transfer of power with low reported irregularities. Despite pressure from Russia, the country has maintained its Western-leaning course, which Zelensky promised to continue.

      Zelensky's lack of experience is an obvious source of concern. Russian President Vladimir Putin will clearly find ways to test his mettle, and the opposition party still controls parliament. The full political landscape will not be known until fall's parliamentary election.

      Bottom line: If Zelensky can leverage his popularity to tackle corruption, this could be a real opportunity for reform in Ukraine.