Ukraine Warns Against Questioning Zelensky's Legitimacy Due To Wartime Suspension Of Elections

The end of Volodymyr Zelensky's five year term as president of Ukraine is set to end by the close of May, at least according to what was stipulated upon his getting elected, however, the government has made it clear there will be no new election.

Officials have cited martial law due to the Russian invasion to say that after his five-year term ends on May 21, there won't be a new election until after martial law and wartime regulations are lifted.

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Ukraine's Minister of Justice, Denys Malyuska, confirmed this in a fresh weekend interview with BBC News Ukraine. "The president's powers endure until the election of his successor. However, certain provisions of the Constitution are open to interpretation, inviting speculation or conspiracy theories," Malyuska said when asked about ongoing speculation over what happens after May 21st.

He explained, "There may be considerable debate and criticism, particularly considering that the Constitution's framers may not have fully anticipated the possibility of Ukraine being embroiled in a large-scale conflict, leading to some provisions being inadequately formulated."

When asked about appealing to a Constitutional Court in order to seek clarification, Malyuska said that it is ill-timed. Or in essence he said it won't happen and warned against such an effort.

"Such an appeal would imply legitimate questions and doubts, warranting resolution by the Constitutional Court. Given the country's communication and security challenges, openly questioning the president's legitimacy would be a grave error."

"Therefore, I see no merit in approaching the Constitutional Court presently. Perhaps, in the future, under different circumstances, it could be considered, but not at this juncture," Malyuska followed with.

Meanwhile, at a moment that Russia's new cross-border Kharkiv offensive is in full swing, President Zelensky is telling the nation not to panic:

Ukraine’s leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on his people not to panic amid Russia’s ongoing advance in the Kharkiv region that’s jeopardizing a local city.

Ukrainians should trust in their army defending the country’s northeastern border area and not “yield to emotions” despite the fierce fight there and the “extremely difficult” situation on the outskirts of Vovchansk, Zelenskiy said in his regular evening statement on Sunday.

"The advance in the Kharkiv region aims to stretch our forces and undermine their morale and motivation," Zelensky said. "Defense battles have never been simple, and they become even more challenging when an enemy manages to instill fear."

There are reports that Russian forces have been rapidly advancing in the north this weekend...

Russia is said to be seeking to create a 10km deep 'buffer zone' inside Ukrainian territory in order to better deter against cross-border mortar and drone attacks on the Belgorod region. According to the latest Sunday headlines:

  • RUSSIA CLAIMS CAPTURE OF MULTIPLE VILLAGES IN KHARKIV REGION, INCLUDING VOVCHANSK, PROMPTING MASS EVACUATIONS - SOURCES
  • UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKIY URGES CALM AMIDST RUSSIAN ADVANCES IN KHARKIV, EMPHASIZING TRUST IN THE ARMY'S DEFENSE EFFORTS - SOURCES
  • DESPITE REPORTS OF RUSSIAN GAINS, UKRAINIAN FORCES RESIST AND ATTEMPT COUNTER-ATTACKS IN THE REGION - SOURCES
  • FOCUS OF RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE APPEARS TO BE ESTABLISHING A BUFFER ZONE RATHER THAN DIRECT ASSAULT ON KHARKIV CITY, ACCORDING TO ANALYSTS - SOURCES
  • UKRAINIAN FORCES RESIST AND ATTEMPT COUNTER-ATTACKS IN THE REGION

Scores of Russian civilians have been killed and wounded over the last several months by such shelling. Moscow has warned it will punish Ukraine for such attacks directly on Russian territory.

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