Presidential election during wartime may lack legitimacy, Ukrainian MP says
Fedir Venislavskyi (Photo: press service of the Ukraine 30 forum)

Presidential elections during wartime would contradict the constitutional principles of electoral law, representative of the president in the Verkhovna Rada, MP from the Servant of the People and expert in the field of constitutional law Fedir Venislavskyi told

In his opinion, "there are 100% reasons to doubt the legitimacy of a president hypothetically elected during martial law."

In the conditions of martial law, it is unlikely to be possible to ensure compliance with the constitutional principles of the right to vote, Venislavskyi notes. 

First, the issue is with Ukrainians who live in the temporarily occupied territories, and secondly, with Ukrainians who went abroad and did not return to Ukraine.

In both cases, the lawmaker says it is "very difficult" to ensure the exercise of the right to vote for the listed groups of people.

In addition, according to Venislavskyi, in the event of holding presidential elections during the war, freedom of pre-election campaigning, freedom of media, political parties in conditions of safety for life and health, etc. will not be respected.

"Constitutional principles of the right to vote are enshrined in Chapter 3 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Therefore, non-compliance with those constitutional principles gives one hundred percent grounds for doubting the legitimacy of the next president, whoever it may be," he said.

During his visit to Kyiv, American Senator Graham said that elections in Ukraine should be held in 2024, even if the war continues. The National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksiy Danilov replied that Ukraine will decide when to hold them.

On September 10, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if elections are held during the war, Ukraine will have problems with the voting of military personnel, observers at the front, recognition of voting, and the will of citizens abroad and under occupation.

On October 4, Zelenskyy said that "the situation is difficult", but if the Verkhovna Rada adopts the necessary changes to the legislation and the safety of the voters is ensured, then the elections will take place.