“Now is not the time for elections”: This Monday, November 6, Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelensky closed the door to a presidential vote in the country and tried to close a growing debate among leaders after more of a year and a half of Russian invasion.
“Now is the time for defense, for battle, on which the fate of the state and people depends, and not for farce, which only Russia expects from Ukraine. I think this is not the time for elections,” he said in his daily speech. “We must come together, not divide ourselves, not disperse ourselves in quarrels or other priorities,” he further urged.
Yet again on Friday, his Foreign Minister Dmytro Kouleba indicated that the Ukrainian president was “weighing the pros and cons” on the subject. Because if Russia had not launched its invasion in February 2022, the legislative elections in Ukraine should have taken place in October of this year and the presidential election in March 2024.
The current situation, however, places Kiev in a dilemma, its Western allies, notably the United States, pressing Ukraine to organize democratic elections even though nearly 20% of its territory is occupied by Russia and millions of 'Ukrainians are refugees abroad.
Another major obstacle: the law would have to be amended to allow the organization of polls under martial law, currently in force. “There is no room for conflicts”, justified Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday evening, who daily advocates the “unity” of his people. “We all understand that today, in times of war, when the challenges are numerous, it is absolutely irresponsible to introduce the subject of elections in society in a light and cheerful way,” the Ukrainian president further supported.