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.
Zelensky announced the cancellation of elections in Ukraine.
“We must understand that now is the time for a battle on which the fate of the state depends, and not a time for stuffing. I believe that now is not the time for elections”
The end is very near … pic.twitter.com/5pdK8Bjbd5
— Dagny Taggart (@DagnyTaggart963) November 6, 2023
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.
A Ukrainian official just told Time Magazine that 18 months into the war, corruption is as bad as ever. “People are stealing like there’s no tomorrow,” and nobody fears accountability at all.
Why are we paying for all this? https://t.co/GJstNHIt9P
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 30, 2023
“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.
Republicans, Democrats, and Independents recognize we have a crisis at the southern border.
We have a real opportunity to substantively enhance border security and restore enforcement of the law, and House Republicans won’t let this moment pass. pic.twitter.com/eEEYbnJVXA
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) November 5, 2023
I’ve sat in a lot of briefings where I was promised Ukraine doesn’t have a corruption problem.
The Biden admin has lied to us. Not one more penny to Ukraine. https://t.co/JH48L1xZz2
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) October 30, 2023