Ukraine’s security chief Danilov warns against holding elections during war

7 September, 01:58 PM
Oleksiy Danilov (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Voitenko)

Oleksiy Danilov (Photo:REUTERS/Anna Voitenko)

Ukraine cannot hold elections during wartime due to the risk of interference by the Russian security services, according to Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, on Sept. 7.

"I can say this: as soon as agitators enter the trenches, we lose," Danilov said during a television interview.

"Agitation cannot [be allowed to] take place in the trenches, and our people are currently in the trenches. The task of the state is quite simple—to ensure that every individual is able to vote."

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Ukraine had initially planned to hold elections for the Verkhovna Rada (the country’s parliament) and the presidency in 2024. However, as the country is currently subject to martial law, the Ukrainian Constitution explicitly prohibits the holding of elections.

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican, South Carolina), called for elections to be held even during wartime on Aug. 24, describing the ideas as a symbol of “a free and democratic Ukraine both today and in the years to come".

In response, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if elections were to be held, the U.S. and Europe would have to ensure their integrity by deploying observers to Ukraine, including on the frontlines.

If elections were to be held, three groups in society would struggle to exercise their right to vote: citizens residing abroad, internally displaced persons, and military personnel, according to First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Oleksandr Kornienko.

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