President elected during war unlikely to be legitimate, will lack democratic mandate – Venislavksy

Fedir Venislavsky
Fedir Venislavsky

Presidential elections during a war will contravene the constitutional principles of electoral rights, making an elected president during wartime unlikely to be legitimate, Fedir Venislavsky, the president’s representative in the Ukrainian Parliament and an MP from the Servant of the People party, said in an interview with LIGA.net on Nov. 6.

“There is a hundred percent reason to doubt the legitimacy of a president hypothetically elected during a state of war,” Venislavsky said.

Read also: Ukraine to hold presidential elections in 2024 – NV sources

He argued that under martial law, upholding the constitutional principles of electoral rights is unlikely, particularly for Ukrainians in temporarily occupied territories and those who have left the country.

Venislavsky emphasized the immense challenges in ensuring the exercise of electoral rights for these groups, raising concerns about the absence of freedom in election campaigning, media activity, and political parties’ operations during wartime. In summary, he questioned the feasibility of conducting fair and free presidential elections in such circumstances.

“The constitutional principles of the electoral right are enshrined in Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Ukraine,” he said.

“Therefore, non-compliance with these constitutional principles provides one hundred percent grounds to doubt the legitimacy of the next president, whoever he may be.”

Read also: ‘Any community could be excluded’ — Ukrainian parliament looks for ways to hold wartime elections

Another MP, representing the European Solidarity party, Oleksiy Honcharenko, claims that, according to his information, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has decided to hold presidential elections next year.

Will there be presidential elections in 2024?

The eighth presidential election in Ukraine since declaring independence was scheduled for March 31. However, the Constitution prohibits holding elections during martial law.

Read also: Zelenskyy decides to hold presidential elections in 2024 – MP Honcharenko

Zelenskyy stated that elections in Ukraine could take place during a state of war, provided there are changes to legislation and the organization of voting in a way that is safe and allows all Ukrainians to participate – inside the country, on the front lines, and abroad.

The Ukrainian parliament denied on Nov. 3 that they were preparing for presidential elections during the war. The state budget for 2024 does not include expenses for holding elections.

In late August, U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stated that elections in Ukraine should proceed even during the war.

Zelenskyy responded by suggesting that in such a scenario, the U.S. and Europe should take steps to guarantee the fairness of the elections by sending observers to Ukraine, with a particular focus on the front lines.

The First Deputy Speaker of the Rada, Oleksandr Korniyenko, previously told NV in an interview that at least three significant groups of Ukrainians will not be able to participate in the elections:

  • Temporarily displaced citizens abroad, where there is no infrastructure to allow so many people to vote

  • Internally displaced persons who will face problems with registration procedures

  • Military personnel

How Ukrainians feel about the possibility of holding elections during the war

The results of a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology indicate that 81% of Ukrainians are against holding elections during a war.

Another 16% of respondents believe that elections should be held despite the war.

In all regions of Ukraine, the majority of the population is against holding elections during a war.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13.

Read also: Could Arestovych simply be a technical candidate for Zelenskyy in future election?

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine