Zelensky prepares ground to delay presidential election

Lazy eyes listen


Ukraine will be unable to hold elections as long as martial law is in place, President Vladimir Zelensky told British national television BCC on Friday. His original five-year tenure will end in May 2024.

“According to the law, elections must take place during a period of peace, when there is no fighting,” Zelensky told the BBC when asked if a presidential election will take place next year.

Ukrainian legislation requires a parliamentary election by October 29 of this year. According to Rodion Miroshnik, former ambassador of the Lugansk People’s Republic in Moscow, in order for the 60-day campaign to begin on August 28, Kiev would need to lift martial law. Miroshnik told TASS that presidential elections will have to take place by March 2024.

Zelensky declared martial law on February 24, 2022, and has continued to expand it ever since. The most recent 90-day extension was announced this year on May 20 and is set to expire on August 18.

While conceding that elections were not permitted while the country was under martial law, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) urged Ukraine in May to “start preparing for [a vote] as soon as possible.”

“Although democracy is far more than just elections, I think we can all agree that democracy cannot function properly without elections,” Martinus Josephus Maria ‘Tiny’ Kox told Ukrainian activist Olga Aivazovska on May 17.

The head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, Aleksey Danilov, answered by stressing that “there can be no elections” as long as martial law is in existence.

Zelensky has banned a dozen political groups under a law passed in May 2022 for allegedly questioning his official viewpoint on the war with Russia. The main parliamentary opposition bloc, Opposition Platform – For Life, was outlawed in June, while former president Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of Regions was banned in February.