Espreso. Global

West may force Ukraine to hold elections to sign peace deal with Russia - political analyst Reiterovych

23 January, 2024 Tuesday

Political analyst Ihor Reiterovych believes that Western partners can force Ukraine to hold elections so that the new government agrees to sign a peace agreement with Russia

He expressed this opinion on the Espreso TV channel.

"I think that the Presidential Office thinks about elections every day. They consider different scenarios and options. And there is a very interesting aspect in this situation. The possibility of holding elections in Ukraine will depend on the intensity of the war and what exactly happens at the front. If we imagine that in a year's time the war will enter the maximum stalemate, when no one moves anywhere and there is no shelling of Ukrainian territory, then believe me, the issue of elections will quickly reappear on the agenda," Reiterovich explained.

The political analyst believes that Western partners can force Ukraine to hold elections to change the government, which will agree to sign an agreement with Russia.

"It is also quite possible to imagine a situation where our Western partners start talking about the need for elections. Because they will consider it necessary to hold elections in Ukraine and re-elect a government that would be able to sign a peace agreement with Russia. This scenario will be negatively received by the majority of Ukrainian citizens, but it will end the war. Some of our partners may be interested in this. I am talking about the future, fortunately, today there is no such critical mass among our partners," he added.

Elections during the war: what is known

In May 2023, the President of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tiny Kox, stated that free and fair elections should be held in Ukraine despite the war. Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Danilov responded categorically: "There can be no elections, including presidential and parliamentary, in Ukraine during martial law."

In August, Verkhovna Rada Vice Speaker Kornienko said that there are at least three categories of people who will 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 September 7, 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, a number of civil society organizations opposed the elections in Ukraine during the war, noting that the formal act of voting does not equal democracy. Also, 81% of KIIS respondents opposed the elections during the martial law regime.

On November 3, MP Alina Zagoruiko said that the Verkhovna Rada was preparing for elections after the war. In turn, MP Fedir Venislavsky said that if the presidential election were held during the war, there would be grounds to doubt its legitimacy.

On November 7, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine stated that elections could not be held during martial law, so President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would continue to perform his duties until the end of this legal regime.

On January 17, Parliament Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk said that a final decision had been made on the issue of holding elections during martial law.

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