Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently said he does not believe it’s the right time for elections to be held in his country, which is defending itself against Russian forces.
After Russia decided to invade Ukraine in February 2022, Zelenskyy ordered his country to be under martial law, thereby establishing a new set of wartime rules. Just recently, the Ukrainian president announced that the scheduled 2024 elections will not be held since Ukraine is still fending off its Russian aggressors.
“We must decide that now is the time of defense, the time of battle, on which the fate of the state and people depends,” Zelenskyy said in his daily address, as reported by Newsmax.
“We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are so many challenges, it is absolutely irresponsible to throw the topic of elections into society in a lighthearted and playful way,” he added.
Zelensky says "Now is not the time" to hold an election in Ukraine.
The question is, given his habit of arresting political enemies and banning their TV stations, does Zelensky ever think it's time for an election?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 6, 2023
Zelenskyy said that now is a time for his country to be united instead of divided, adding, “I believe that now is not the (right) time for elections.”
Zelenskyy has faced calls to hold elections in 2024, including from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a staunch supporter of the European country.
Graham recently urged Zelenskyy to “take the next step in the development of democracy, namely to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in 2024,” adding, “I want this country to have free and fair elections, even when it’s under attack.”
Responding to Graham’s comments, Zelenskyy said he would hold elections in Ukraine if the U.S., which has provided the European country with billions of dollars, agrees to pay for it, as reported by the Daily Caller.
“I gave Lindsey a very simple answer very quickly. He was very pleased with it. As long as our legislators are willing to do it,” Zelenskyy told the South Carolina lawmaker.
“I don’t know how much is needed in wartime. So, I told him that if the U.S. and Europe provide financial support…” he added.
Zelenskyy made sure to clarify that Ukraine will not derive any money the U.S. has provided it in the form of military aid to hold elections.