Ukraine media demands access to presidential favourite
Ukrainian media on Tuesday called on comedian Volodymyr Zelensky to answer their questions ahead of a weekend presidential election he is expected to win despite minimum engagement with mainstream outlets.
The 41-year-old political novice has eschewed traditional campaign events, preferring instead to appeal to voters through social media channels and YouTube clips.
"Prove that the principles of openness and transparency that you proclaim are not just empty words," an open letter signed by around 20 Ukrainian news outlets said.
"Our readers, viewers and listeners are asking questions we cannot answer since we have not once talked with you directly," the letter added.
"Our professional duty as journalists is to bring important information to the public in a timely and comprehensive manner. Since you ignore our interview requests, we cannot fulfil this function."
Zelensky has given limited interviews to national and international media in the past, but has been largely silent since he topped the first round of voting at the end of last month.
Critics say his positions are vague and he lacks the political experience to govern a country with a stalling economy that is fighting separatists in its east.
Until now, the closest he has come to power has been playing the Ukrainian head of state in a popular TV show.
But supporters insist only a completely fresh face can address the country's endemic corruption and restore faith in the political class.
At the weekend Zelensky was a no-show for a debate against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who is trailing the comedian in polls.
A survey published Tuesday projected 72 percent of the vote for Zelensky to Poroshenko's 25 when Ukrainians vote on Sunday.
? 2019 AFP