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Zelensky’s presidential term has EXPIRED, but he still remains as Ukraine’s de facto chief executive
By Ramon Tomey // May 22, 2024

The five-year term of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has officially expired, but he still remains as the country's chief executive – raising questions about his continued legitimacy.

Zelensky, a comedian who starred in the series "Servant of the People," was first elected as president in March 2019 and assumed office two months later in May 20 of that year. His first term expired Monday, May 20, five years to the day he became president, according to Russia Today.

Originally, Ukraine's presidential election was set to occur in March of this year. But in December, Zelensky said there would be no presidential or parliamentary elections as long as martial law remains in force. He first announced martial law during the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2022, with the Verkhovna Rada – Ukraine's unicameral parliament – extending the declaration since then. (Related: Permanent dictator: Zelensky declares NO MORE ELECTIONS in Ukraine until war ends.)

At the start of the year, Zelensky reiterated that elections are now "untimely" due to the ongoing conflict with Russia and the national mobilization announced by Kyiv. On May 15, members of the Verkhovna Rada prolonged the emergency measures by another three months.

But according to former People's Deputy (PD) Spiridion Klinkaryov, Ukraine has laws that prohibit parliamentary elections not to be held in wartime. However, there is no such rule concerning the president.

"Therefore, even during this period, Zelensky is obliged to hold elections," the erstwhile PD from 2006 until 2014 told news outlet Regnum earlier this year. "Instead, he refers to the norm, which states that the powers of the newly elected president come into force after the powers of the current one expire."

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According to a poll by the Ukrainian political sociology from SOCIS conducted in early March, Zelensky would have secured only 23.7 percent of votes in the first round of elections against Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Valery Zaluzhny. It also found that Zelensky would still have lost in the second round, garnering no more than 32.5 percent against the former commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU). The president dismissed Zaluzhny from the AFU in February.

Moscow questions legitimacy of Zelensky's extended presidency

On May 20, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev blasted Zelensky's cancellation of elections late last year. He argued that with this decision, Zelensky has "spat" on the Ukrainian Constitution, ignored the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (KSU) and opted for the "usurpation of supreme power."

The head of the Russian Security Council told the TASS news agency that Zelensky fears facing competition from Zaluzhny and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the latter Zelensky's predecessor. According to Medvedev, both would have "too many trump cards" against the comedian-turned-president.

On May 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his state visit to China that the issue of Zelensky's legitimacy is something that "Ukraine's own political and legal system, first of all the KSU," must address. According to Putin, the Ukrainian Constitution allows for "different options."

"But to us, this does matter because if it comes to the signing of any documents, surely, we should sign documents on such a momentous manner with the legitimate authorities," he said. The Russian leader added that the Kremlin maintained regular contacts with Zelensky himself before the "special military operation" commenced in February 2022.

The online newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda claimed in March, citing PDs, that Zelensky had virtually stripped the Verkhovna Rada of its powers and established de facto personal rule. Around the same time, a PD from Zelensky's Servant of the People Party openly suggested that Ukraine needs a dictatorship to survive the conflict with Russia.

This led to Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov remarking in late April: "[A] moment will come soon when many people, including those inside Ukraine, will question [Zelensky's] legitimacy."

Head over to UkraineWitness.com for similar stories.

Watch this video discussing the possibility of Volodymyr Zelensky staging a coup to keep himself in power.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Zelensky's legitimacy will soon be questioned – Kremlin.

Zelensky proposes another 90-day extension of MARTIAL LAW in Ukraine.

NGOs demand that NO ELECTIONS be held in Ukraine to "preserve democracy."

CIA allegedly operating online Ukrainian anti-Trump "troll farms" to influence 2024 election.

Ukraine petitions Council of Europe to cancel elections, suspend human rights protections in order to "stop Russia."

Sources include:

RT.com 1

RT.com 2


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