Will there be presidential elections in Ukraine in 2024 and who can become a candidate?
Despite the fact that the law prohibits elections during wartime and the Ukrainian people themselves are against such measures, elections in Ukraine are being discussed almost all over the world. Find out if elections are possible in the spring of 2024 and whether Zelenskyy will become president for the second time
PACE President Toni Cox first spoke about the need for elections during the war in Ukraine in May 2023. In his opinion, the elections in the spring of 2024 had to be "free and fair," even if they were "not ideal under martial law." Later, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, reiterated this need during a visit to Kyiv in August.
And despite the fact that elections are obviously "not on time," and their organization and holding is more of a big question mark than a probable possibility, the West keeps talking about them.
Read more about when the war in Ukraine will end, according to experts, here.
Why can't elections in Ukraine be held during the war?
First of all, Ukrainian legislation prohibits it, because neither local elections nor parliamentary or presidential elections can be held during martial law.
Secondly, there are no budget funds for this, as the relevant expenditure items were not taken into account in the budget planning for 2024. And as Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted, Ukraine would not take funds from the military, which defends the sovereignty, independence and democracy of the state, to organize elections.
Thirdly, and most importantly on this list, it seems impossible to organize legitimate elections when millions of Ukrainians are abroad in dozens of countries around the world and under occupation, and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who are directly fighting for Ukraine to be a free democratic state, obviously cannot vote from the trenches.
At the same time, we should not forget about the possibility of russian interference in the election process, as russian agents are not only reaching out to Ukraine, but are also firmly entwined in EU countries, where refugees are likely to vote.
However, pressure from the country's Western partners has forced Ukraine to "consider possible options" that would allow it to hold elections during the war, as well as the pros and cons of such a decision.
Zelensky, Zaluzhny, Arestovych: Who Can Become a Candidate for President of Ukraine?
According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, if elections are held in Ukraine during the war, he will not abandon the country, but if the next elections are held in peacetime, he will not run for a second term.
So, if Zelenskyy is one of the candidates in the martial law elections, who will compete with him?
The West is actively promoting the narrative that Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, could be Zelenskyi's main rival. However, there have been no hints of such intentions from him.
At the same time, almost the only "politician" who announced his intention to run in 2024 was Oleksiy Arestovych, who is also almost the only former government official who emphasizes the need for elections as such. However, Ukrainians have long been reluctant to take Arestovych's statements seriously.
Who will Ukrainians support if there are presidential elections?
Despite russian propaganda, constant political injections from "anonymous sources" in the West, and internal political and military turmoil in Ukraine, more than 70% of Ukrainians retain confidence in Volodymyr Zelenskyy, according to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center sociological service. No other political representative of the Ukrainian government has such a high level of trust.
Will there be presidential elections in Ukraine in 2024?
In order to organize elections, Ukraine needs significant, and most importantly, very rapid changes in legislation. We do not have a full understanding of how to do this, as there are no good examples of how it has been done in other countries.
At the same time, the vast majority of Ukrainians do not support the idea of holding elections during the war. Thus, according to a recent poll by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), 81% of respondents believe that elections should be held after the war and that they are not appropriate now. Only 16% of respondents share the opposite opinion.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy himself notes that elections are not on time, but according to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Zelenskyy is considering such a possibility.
We remind you! Recent events have shaken up Ukraine: Zaluzhny's interview, Khorenko's dismissal, Zhovkva's comments, and the reaction of the President's Office and Zelensky. Read what it all means and why the world is talking about Ukraine's surrender in our previous article.
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