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Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister: Zelensky is Nothing But Impostor Since May 21

© AP Photo / Christophe Gateau/Pool Президент Украины Владимир Зеленский сидит в машине возле дворца Бельвю в Берлине, Германия
 Президент Украины Владимир Зеленский сидит в машине возле дворца Бельвю в Берлине, Германия - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.05.2024
Volodymyr Zelensky has lost his legitimacy and the West cannot rewrite the Ukrainian Constitution by holding summits and creating excuses for his brazen power grab, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov told Sputnik.
Zelensky's presidential powers expired on the night of May 20-21 and cannot be extended per the Ukrainian Constitution which limits the presidential tenure to five years. Despite calls from the West to secure a second term via a general election in Ukraine, he refused to do so - using the pretext of martial law to continue.

"It is absolutely obvious to anyone who is familiar with electoral law and the Constitution of Ukraine that Zelensky has become an impostor since May 21," Nikolay Azarov, prime minister from 2010 to 2014 and a veteran politician with over 20 years of experience in Ukrainian politics, told Sputnik.

Azarov went on to trash Zelensky's martial law pretext to justify canceling elections: "Zelensky did not declare war [against Russia]. He also did not announce any military operation. He simply introduced martial law. Why did you introduce martial law if you are not declaring war?"

Zero Chance of Winning Election

The former Ukrainian president's unwillingness to hold elections stems from his legitimate fear that he would have lost miserably, according to the former prime minister.
"If there were a chance [of winning], he would have held elections," he said. "Nothing prevented him from holding elections, because the entire administration, all the security forces, all the penal structures, everything is in the hands of his administration."
Azarov suggested that Zelensky could have held elections in the territories controlled by Kiev – akin to what his predecessor Petro Poroshenko did during his presidential tenure. But even under these conditions, Zelensky understood that he could not win and could be easily beaten by any other contender, like General Valery Zaluzhny, the ex-prime minister presumed.
"It is absolutely clear to everyone, with the possible exception of an extremely narrow circle of people, that [Zelensky] is not a specialist, not a patriot of his country, he is just a random person in power, a puppet. And therefore he would hardly have won if any [presidential] candidates had emerged," Azarov said.
As Zelensky's tenure expired on May 20, the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) and its speaker are now the only legitimate powers in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on May 28, adding that the Ukrainian Constitution provides for the extension of the powers of the parliament, but not the president, under martial law.
Responding to Putin's remark, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk argued that the president of Ukraine exercises his powers until his successor assumes the post. However, the debate over Zelensky's legitimacy is gaining pace regardless of Stefanchuk's assertions.

"The military conflict has been going on for three years now. It is still difficult to say how long it will last. Will [Zelensky] continue to usurp power all this time? This raises legitimate questions," Azarov said.

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Forgotten Case of Yanukovich's Illegitimate Overthrow

Stefanchuk also appears to forget that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was unable to transfer power to a legitimate successor in 2014, since he was illegally overthrown on February 22, with Euromaidan leader Oleksandr Turchynov grabbing the reins of the country the very next day.
To that end, the then-chairman of the Verkhovna Rada was designated acting president on February 23, 2014. Remarkably, Turchynov was made the Ukrainian parliament's chairman on the same day Yanukovich was ousted. Apparently, coup plotters kept in mind that the powers of the president should be transferred to the Verkhovna Rada's head.
"After the [2014] coup d'etat, there is no legitimate government in Ukraine," argued Azarov. "Because the coup d'etat violated all the norms of the Constitution, destroyed the country's legal system, and destroyed the justice system."
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Zelensky's Conflict With Constitutional Court

One might ask why Zelensky had not requested that the Ukrainian Constitutional Court issue clarifications on the matter. The crux of the matter is that he earlier sabotaged the work of the body, according to Azarov.
"By his decree, Zelensky completely unconstitutionally recalled the chairman of the Constitutional Court [Oleksandr Tupytsky in March 2021]," the former prime minister said. "He had no right to do this. He has no such powers. Of course, the Constitutional Court declared this presidential decree illegal and rejected it."
Zelensky’s repeated attempts to sack Tupytsky proved futile until the latter's tenure expired on May 15, 2022. On May 27 the same year, the Kiev regime announced that the former Constitutional Court chair had been put on the international wanted list.
"That is why Zelensky did not request the Constitutional Court to interpret the provisions of the Constitution and allow him to extend his powers," Azarov explained. "After such a conflict with the Constitutional Court – given that Zelensky practically liquidated it – he no longer had any opportunity left to find at least some semblance of the legality of his stay in power."
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West is Well Aware That Zelensky Has Lost Legitimacy

According to the ex-Ukrainian prime minister, the West knows of the legitimacy debacle in Ukraine.
"The West, represented by, for example, the US, understands perfectly well that Zelensky has lost his legitimacy. This explains [US Secretary of State Antony] Blinken's recent visit to Kiev, during which he absolutely brazenly and boorishly declared that elections must be held in suitable conditions. But there is no such wording either in the Constitution or in the election law. Elections are not held in suitable conditions, but within constitutional deadlines," Azarov emphasized.
Zelensky's clash with the Constitutional Court, refusal to hold elections, and persecution of his political opponents has all the earmarks of dictatorship, international pundits argue. Under these circumstances, it's hard to imagine that any viable alternative to Zelensky would emerge anytime soon, barring the West's machinations, according to Azarov.
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"All the alternatives that could have replaced Zelensky were either imprisoned by the West with Zelensky's hands, or removed from the country, or, unfortunately, these people died. If such an alternative had appeared, they would have been in prison the next day, testifying about high treason," Azarov remarked.
The situation of ambiguity and lawlessness makes it almost impossible to hold talks or conclude agreements with Ukrainian authorities, according to the former official. He noted that the Kiev regime's backers in the West also cannot play the role of brokers or guarantors of peace. The failure of the Minsk agreements and preliminary peace accords discussed by the Russian and Ukrainian delegations in Istanbul in March 2022 perfectly illustrate Azarov's words.
"The political environment in the country must be radically changed to create conditions for the emergence of responsible political forces that could sign agreements on behalf of the people," Azarov concluded.
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