FALSE: US questions Zelenskyi's legitimacy over election cancellation — Politico

FALSE: US questions Zelenskyi’s legitimacy over election cancellation — Politico

19 April 2024

Verification within Meta’s Third-Party Fact-Checking Program

A screenshot of an alleged Politico article titled “Allies question Zelensky’s legitimacy due to lack of elections” is being spread online. It refers to the fact that on the sidelines of the White House, Zelenskyi’s legitimacy is beginning to be doubted due to the cancellation of the presidential election. In private conversations, officials seem to express dissatisfaction with the lack of basic democratic procedures in the country.

It is false. Politico did not publish this article. The same screenshot is shared only by Russian and pro-Russian sources. Volodymyr Zelenskyi did not lose his legitimacy after the cancellation of the elections. It is impossible to safely hold a democratic and fair vote because of the Russian invasion.

Screenshot of the post

In fact, no such article was published on any of Politico’s social media pages or media website. Also, the same screenshot is distributed only by Russian and pro-Russian sources. We did not find similar information in other reliable Ukrainian or Western media.  

Legitimacy means support, positive attitude, trust or recognition of the authority of the government by the population of the country and is a socio-cultural characteristic. Despite the drop in ratings, President Zelenskyi maintains a relatively high level of support. Data from the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) show that as of February 2024, trust in the current president was 64%. Before the full-scale invasion of Russia, 37% of citizens trusted Zelenskyi, and after February 24, 2022, the level of his support increased to 90%. Since then, the level of trust in the President of Ukraine has decreased. Also, the KIIS study shows that in February 2024, 69% of Ukrainians supported the opinion that Zelenskyi should serve as president until the end of martial law.

Currently, Ukraine is under martial law, therefore, according to Article 19 of the Law of Ukraine “On the Legal Regime of Martial Law”, it is prohibited to hold elections. This means that during the period of martial law, the President of Ukraine will remain in office on legal grounds, and regular elections will be held after the cancellation of martial law. Also, the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees the absence of a vacuum of the highest power and the principle of continuity of power.

During a full-scale war, it is impossible to guarantee a democratic and fair election procedure. To do this, it is necessary to organize unhindered access to the sites of almost a million soldiers of the Defense Forces and more than nine million Ukrainians abroad, of whom almost 6.5 million are military migrants and almost 3 million are labor migrants. There is also a problem with the calculation and involvement of IDPs, whose number, according to the International Organization for Migration, as of October 2023, due to a full-scale invasion alone, is 3.7 million people. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities cite a figure of almost 5 million forcibly displaced persons.

Also, the security of citizens is a problem in the conduct of elections in Ukraine. Part of the country’s territory is occupied, some cities are within the range of enemy artillery, and the whole country in general is under the threat of missile attacks. On the day of voting, the enemy may carry out airstrikes and prevent the access of citizens and independent observers to polling stations, leading to the disruption of the electoral process. In addition, in wartime, the costs of conducting elections are unjustified, because Ukraine is fighting for its existence, and the funds for conducting the vote can be directed to the purchase of military equipment.

100 Ukrainian public organizations, including Vox Ukraine, signed a joint statement against holding the vote during the war. In November 2023, the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada and representatives of parliamentary factions signed a memorandum on holding the next presidential and parliamentary elections no earlier than six months after the end of martial law. 

Earlier, we refuted the claim that Zelenskyi is deliberately extending martial law to prevent the holding of presidential elections.


Авторы не работают, не консультируют, не владеют акциями и не получают финансирования от компании или организации, которая бы имела пользу от этой статьи, а также никоим образом с ними не связаны