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Zelensky's Unconstitutional Power Grab Amidst Ukraine's Military Failures

© AFP 2023 / GINTS IVUSKANSVolodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference after talks with Latvia's President on January 11, 2024 in Riga, Latvia
Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference after talks with Latvia's President on January 11, 2024 in Riga, Latvia - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2024
Despite his term legally expiring on May 20, Zelensky has decided to extend his tenure as de-facto president, claiming legal authority under the Law of Martial Law and the Electoral Code of Ukraine, which prohibit elections during a period of martial law. Russian Senator Andrey Klishas explained why it is still unconstitutional.
The Constitution of Ukraine does not contain provisions for the extension of the president's term during martial law, but it does provide for such an extension for the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament), Klishas noted.
The principle of subsidiarity in constitutional law implies that matters of highest importance, including the extension of terms, should be regulated at the constitutional level.
The absence of a constitutional norm regarding the extension of the president's term under martial law indicates that such legal regulation is impossible, contradicting the foundations of constitutional law.
The Office of the President of Ukraine avoids appealing to the Constitutional Court regarding the extension of terms, indicating an acknowledgment of the constitutional risks associated with such a decision.
The extension of martial law, and consequently, Zelensky’s tenure, is perceived as an illegal extension of the power of the "Kiev junta", Russian Senator Andrey Klishas emphasized.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky listens as President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Washington - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2024
Zelensky No Longer Legitimate President of Ukraine - Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed that Zelensky's legitimacy has expired, and Russia will proceed from this fact.
"Of course, we are aware that the legitimacy of the current head of state [of Ukraine] has ended," Putin said at a press conference in Minsk on Friday after talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Lukashenko agreed with Putin's assessment, saying that "there is no legal integrity, and cannot be any legal integrity" on this question.
"All the same, I believe that neither the current president nor the future one can resolve the big issues facing the state of Ukraine and the people of Ukraine. These issues will not be resolved by presidents. You know who will decide them. A lot has already been decided overseas, and what hasn't, will be decided later," Lukashenko said.
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