ESC 2019: Maruv won't represent Ukraine
Ukraine's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest is becoming a crucial test. Singer Maruv had won the public vote to be the country's entrant but the fact that she goes on tour in Russia has sparked a political dispute. The public broadcaster UA:PBC and Maruv got into an argument about the terms of her participation in the contest, and as a result the singer will not travel to Tel Aviv. A hot topic in Eastern Europe's press.
Please, no tests of political orientation!
The pro-Russian daily Duma criticises the politicisation of the song contest in Ukraine:
“It was already clear in the semi-final that there would be a major scandal over Ukraine's candidate for the ESC. The presenter and the jury continually provoked the candidates during the live broadcast with questions such as who Crimea belongs to, when was the last time they had been there, whether they consider Crimea to be an occupied area and why they accept engagements abroad. ... The ESC is not the place for 'correct' solutions and PR for the wise leadership of the Ukrainian state or any other state.”
Rehearsing for the presidential election?
The political row over Maruv doesn't bode well for the presidential election at the end of March, KP interposes:
“This is probably the first time in five years that bureaucrats have decided to openly ignore the voices of a broad public and put their opinion above that of the people. And this is not about the course of the state but about a trip to a song contest. ... A particularly cautious electorate has voiced the suspicion that this was a dress rehearsal for the upcoming elections. Let's put it this way: today they went over our heads with a vote against an artist, tomorrow they will do the same with the election of the president.”