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Elections in Ukraine during martial law impossible: Zelenskyy's party leader on reasons

Elections in Ukraine during martial law impossible: Zelenskyy's party leader on reasons Leader of the Servant of the People party Olena Shuliak (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

Conducting elections in Ukraine during martial law is impossible. Among the main practical problems, for example, is not making it possible to ensure full participation of servicemen and Ukrainians abroad, says the leader of the Servant of the People party Olena Shuliak in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.

Currently, Ukraine faces a number of obstacles and urgent issues that make it impossible to hold the presidential election.

Servicemen participation

First of all, as explained by Shuliak, we are talking about a million servicemen who are not currently representatives of political parties. During mobilization, it was mandatory for them to suspend their party membership. After the war, they will be able to renew their membership, however, military personnel also have the right to be elected.

Also, the complexity of holding elections lies in the realization of the right to vote.

"Here you are defending the country, you are in trenches, various types of weapons are flying over you, and you still need to make decisions (on how to vote - ed.). And most importantly, how will these military personnel be elected? And we understand that these people are worthy of being elected both at the local and parliamentary level. How can we take away this right from them just because there is a war?" explained Shuliak.

Ukrainians abroad

Currently, about 20% of the population is abroad. The question is how to organize elections there. One option is to expand the consular network, as the current will not be able to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people, for example, those currently in Poland or Germany.

Another option includes postal voting. This method has already been used by other countries.

"We are now considering the same possibility to be prepared. The war will end, our victory will come, and the first post-war election will begin. But there is no guarantee that all 100% of the population currently living abroad will return very quickly," added the head of the Servant of the People party.

Non-updated voter register

Another problem is the non-updated voter register. In addition to refugees, Ukraine also has 6.5 million internally displaced persons.

"Where are they now, where will they vote?" said Shuliak.

Destroyed infrastructure

Hundreds of kindergartens and schools that were previously used as polling stations are destroyed. During the elections, it is important to clearly understand where they can be organized.

Territorial issues

"Another issue that hasn't disappeared is the question of our territories, which are currently under fire, for example, those very close to the border with the Russian Federation, which were occupied. When should elections be held there? By what criteria? Who will establish these criteria?" said Shuliak, adding that all these issues are being recorded and discussed.

Elections in Ukraine

At the end of July 2023, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, explained that the Constitution of Ukraine does not prohibit holding elections during a war. At the same time, the ban is contained in the law On Legal Regime of Martial Law. It also applied to parliamentary elections, which were supposed to take place on October 29 of the same year. The presidential election was planned for the end of March 2024.

In early February, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov warned that Russian propaganda would use the topic of the presidential election to destabilize Ukraine.