Legitimacy of president hypothetically elected during war may be questioned - lawmaker
The president's representative in the Ukrainian parliament, Fedir Venislavskyi, claims that presidential elections during the war would contradict the constitutional principles of electoral law
He told LIGA.net that "there are absolute grounds to doubt the legitimacy of a president hypothetically elected during martial law".
According to Venislavskyi, under martial law, it is difficult to ensure the expression of the will of citizens living in the temporarily occupied territories and those Ukrainians who have moved abroad.
In addition, according to the MP, if the presidential election is held during the war, the freedom of re-election campaigning, freedom of the media, and political parties will not be respected.
"The constitutional principles of the electoral law are enshrined in Section 3 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Therefore, non-compliance with these constitutional principles gives absolute grounds to doubt the legitimacy of the next president, whoever it may be," Venislavskyi concluded.
Elections during the war
In May, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tini Kox, stated the need to hold free and fair elections in Ukraine despite the war. The Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, Danilov, responded categorically: "There can be no elections, including presidential and parliamentary, in Ukraine during martial law."
On 28 July, the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, said that the Constitution of Ukraine does not prohibit holding elections during martial law, but that a balance must be struck.
In August, Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Kornienko said that there were at least three categories of people who would not be able to participate in the elections. The first category is refugees. According to Kornienko, there is simply no infrastructure abroad that would allow everyone to vote. The second category is internally displaced persons. Here, there may be problems with accounting and compiling lists. The third category is the military.
On 7 September, NSDC Secretary Danilov said that Ukraine would lose the war if it held elections. "I can say that as soon as campaigners enter the trenches, we will lose. Campaigning cannot be in the trenches, and our people are in the trenches. And the task of the state is quite simple - to ensure that everyone can vote," he said.
At the same time, 100 civil society organisations opposed the elections in Ukraine during the war, noting that the formal act of voting does not equal democracy. In addition, 81 per cent of respondents also opposed the elections during the martial law regime.