Espreso. Global

Zelenskyy remains legitimate president beyond May 20

6 March, 2024 Wednesday
16:10

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's legitimacy as Ukraine's leader is unquestionable post-May 20, ensuring his governance until the conclusion of the martial law regime

The Central Election Commission (CEC) clarified this in response to the inquiry.

As per the commission, Zelenskyy should continue exercising his presidential powers until his successor assumes office. Presidential elections are mandated to occur within 30 days following the conclusion of the martial law regime.

The CEC underscores the constitutional continuity of power, emphasizing the president's duty to wield authority until the successor assumes office. It dismisses any grounds for speculating on the possible transfer of presidential functions to the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, as stipulated in Articles 106 and 108 of the Ukrainian Constitution.

The CEC points out that the narrative suggesting Zelensky's supposed illegitimacy post-May 20 is propagated by the enemy with the intent of fueling animosity and distrust toward the government within society.

Elections during the war: Background

In May 2023, Tiny Cox, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), asserted the necessity of conducting free and fair elections in Ukraine despite the ongoing war. In response, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council Secretary, Danilov, firmly stated, "No elections, including presidential and parliamentary ones, can be held in Ukraine during martial law."

In August, Deputy Speaker Kornienko outlined three groups ineligible for election participation: refugees, facing infrastructure challenges abroad; internally displaced persons, with potential issues in accounting and list creation; and the military.

By September 7, Danilov reiterated that holding elections during the war would result in Ukraine's defeat, emphasizing the incompatibility of agitation in the trenches with the state's task of ensuring everyone votes.

Simultaneously, various public organizations opposed wartime elections, arguing that the formal act of voting doesn't equate to democracy. A Kyiv International Institute of Sociology survey revealed 81% of respondents were against elections during the legal regime of martial law.

On November 3, People's Deputy Alina Zahoruyko indicated the Rada's preparations for post-war elections. People's Deputy Fedir Venislavskyi suggested doubts about the legitimacy of presidential elections held during the war.

On November 6, President Zelenskyy criticized discussions about elections during wartime as "irresponsible and frivolous," emphasizing the need for focus and unity during such challenging times.
 

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