Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy flatly rejected holding elections in his country next year as his term in office nears its end. He said the time is not right to make political changes as the war with Russia continues.
The nation’s elected leaders are supposed to face the voters next spring, but under the Ukrainian constitution, elections are technically canceled. With martial law being imposed, the current administration will almost certainly remain in office.
Addressing the nation, Zelenskyy asserted, “We must decide that now is the time of defense, the time of battle, on which the state and people depend.”
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The first-term president added, “I believe that now is not the [right] time for elections.”
Russian and Ukrainian forces are effectively stalemated as the West continues to pour armaments into the country. Still, Zelenskyy harshly denied that his military is bogged down in its much-anticipated counteroffensive against the Kremlin.
Zelenskyy is under growing pressure as world attention turns to the Middle East and the escalating war between Israel and Hamas.
It was two months ago when the president, who was elected in 2019, said he foresaw national elections in 2024. He also declared that he was in favor of having international observers monitor the process.
The embattled president faces growing charges of corruption within his government as the war drags on. Elected in 2019, he warned on Monday that “the waves of any politically divisive things must stop” and that this is “not the time of manipulations.”
Zelenskyy called on Ukraine to work in unity against the common enemy in Moscow. He proclaimed that political disputes should cease and that it is what is expected from the nation by Russia.
Ukraine holds presidential elections every five years, and the next is due in March.
Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska told the media in September that she was not certain if her husband would seek reelection next year. She said much would be determined by whether the country was in a position to conduct “a free and fair election.”
Zelenska added that her husband would likely not run if the Ukrainian people no longer wished for him to lead. “But I will support him whatever decision he takes.”