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70% of Ukrainians think Zelensky must remain president until end of martial law, survey shows

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 17, 2024 8:54 PM 2 min read
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, during a news conference with Olaf Scholz, Germany's chancellor at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin, Germany, on June 11, 2024. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Some 70% of Ukrainians agreed that Volodymyr Zelensky must remain president until the end of martial law, according to a survey by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) published on June 17.

The survey was conducted from May 26 to June 1. The Kyiv International Institute of Sociology interviewed 2011 adults in the Ukrainian-held territories.

In contrast, 22% of the respondents are against Zelensky to retain the presidency.

From 65% to 74% of Ukrainians, depending on the region of their residence, agreed that Zelensky must remain in power until the end of martial law. This means most Ukrainians do not question the president's legitimacy, sociologists said.

Zelensky’s term would have expired this month, but he’s staying. Russia wants to use it
President Volodymyr Zelensky’s term in office is supposed to end on May 20, 2024 – but it won’t. As Russia’s war delayed the elections and Zelensky’s term is looking indefinite, Ukraine’s President’s Office is preparing to weather the storm of critics questioning the president’s legitimacy. Offici…

If martial law had not been imposed, the next presidential election would have been held on March 31, 2024, and Zelensky's term would have ended on May 20.

Ukraine introduced martial law after Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. The Martial Law Act explicitly bans presidential, parliamentary, and local elections.

Some of Zelensky's critics claim that the Constitution does not authorize extending his presidential term under martial law. They argue that he ceased to be a legitimate president on May 20.

But leading constitutional lawyers dispute this claim, saying the Constitution allows such an extension.

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