Volodymyr Zelensky Refused to Hold the Ukrainian Presidential Election

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an evening video message on Monday, 6 November, that the time for elections is not suitable while the war continues. According to Zelensky, “now, in wartime, when there are many challenges, it is absolutely irresponsible to bring the topic of elections into society in such a frivolous and playful way.” The main task facing Ukrainian society and the state is to “focus on defence”, Zelensky said. “I believe that now is not the time for elections,” the Ukrainian president reiterated at the end of his speech. He noted that “if it is necessary to put an end to this or that political dispute and further work in unity, the state has structures capable of giving society all the necessary answers so that there is no space left for conflicts and other people’s game against Ukraine.” Presidential election in Ukraine Meanwhile, in an interview with the Romanian news website digi24 published on 11 October, Zelensky said that he would leave the post of the Ukrainian president after the war and was ready to be re-elected only while the war continued because he ‘cannot flee’ while Russia is waging a war against his country. Earlier, in August, Zelensky said in an interview with journalist Natalia Moseichuk that holding elections in Ukraine during the war is possible only if the United States and the European Union help Kyiv finance the election campaign and voting. According to him, about 5bn hryvnyas (about 130m euros) are needed to hold elections in peacetime, but in wartime it is difficult to name the exact amount. In addition, the Ukrainian president pointed out the need to ensure that military personnel, as well as millions of Ukrainian refugees scattered across European countries, could vote. At the same time, Ukrainian legislation prohibits holding elections under martial law, Zelensky recalled. Zelensky’s term of office will expire in spring 2024 Earlier, Ukraine delayed the parliamentary election, originally scheduled for 29 October, for an indefinite period as the Ukrainian parliament extended martial law until mid-November. The presidential election is also under threat. US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who visited Kyiv in August, called on the country’s authorities to hold presidential elections no later than 2024. Volodymyr Zelensky, 45, was elected as Ukraine’s president in 2019, succeeding Petro Poroshenko. Under Ukraine’s constitution, his regular term as president expires next spring.