Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Zelenskyy on Holding Elections: ‘Now is Not the Time’

'Utterly irresponsible...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy declared on Monday that holding new elections in the middle of the ongoing conflict with Russia would be “utterly irresponsible.” 

Zelenskyy’s declaration, made in a virtual public address, called for the nation to unite behind his presidency as the country fends off the Russian military. 

“We need to recognize that this is a time for defense, a time for battle, upon which the fate of the state and its people depend,” he said, according to Voice of America. “I believe that elections are not appropriate at this time.”

A second translation of Zelenskyy’s remarks by the South China Morning Post alleged that he said, “I believe that now is not the time for elections.”

The decision not to hold elections comes as Ukraine remains under martial law following the 2022 Russian invasion. Reports from VOA suggest that Zelenskyy had contemplated a special provision to facilitate the elections, including potential foreign funding.

Zelenskyy, who was elected in 2019 to a five-year term, admitted that if elections were held, he would seek a second term. 

Zelenskyy’s recent remarks follow the startling admissions of two of his presidential advisors in an Oct. 30 interview with Time Magazine, revealing pervasive corruption within the highest echelons of the Ukrainian government. 

As reported by Time, the advisers directed criticism at the slow response of the administration in addressing military corruption.  

Notably, the individuals highlighted concerns that Zelenskyy’s removal of the defense chief just days before a scheduled meeting with White House and Pentagon officials did little to persuade other individuals to stop taking bribes. 

“People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow,” one unnamed adviser lamented, highlighting the extent of corruption.

These revelations coincided with international concern, with some of Ukraine’s allies expressing hesitancy in supporting foreign aid packages, as detailed by Politico in Oct. 2. 

In the United States, several Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have voiced their opposition to stand-alone taxpayer-funded aid to Ukraine, instead emphasizing the need to allocate resources for domestic border security.

Amid the backlash, Zelenskyy reportedly ramped up his lobbying efforts, aiming to persuade the U.S. to provide further support for Ukraine’s ongoing war efforts.

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