NewsVolodymyr Klitschko Challenges Zelensky on Election Postponement

Volodymyr Klitschko Challenges Zelensky on Election Postponement

Wołodymyr Klitschko and Wołodymyr Zelensky
Wołodymyr Klitschko and Wołodymyr Zelensky
Images source: © Getty Images

8:44 AM EDT, March 17, 2024

Volodymyr Klitschko, a former boxer and brother to Kyiv's mayor, criticized Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for postponing the presidential elections, stressing the necessity for elections to avoid conditions similar to those in Russia.

The war in Ukraine: Key information in our live report

In a discussion with the German news outlet Focus.de, Klitschko highlighted the February dismissal of Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He argued that if the top military commander could be replaced during a war, then the same logic should apply to the president. "We live in a state of war where everything is centrally controlled - courts, police, media. Yet, we are still a democracy," Klitschko remarked.

Klitschko believes that the populace should have a say in government decisions, emphasizing the need for elections to prevent an authoritarian drift akin to Russia's. He also advocated for ensuring that military personnel at the front lines have the opportunity to vote.

President Zelensky's term is set to expire in 2024. However, due to the ongoing war, both presidential and parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for October 2023, have been postponed.

"Zelensky's big mistake"

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv's mayor and Volodymyr's brother, also openly criticized President Zelensky, particularly for the dismissal of Gen. Zaluzhnyi in early March, which he described as "a big mistake".

In an interview with "La Repubblica", Klitschko praised Gen. Zaluzhnyi's two-year defense of Ukraine against a formidable opponent and voiced disappointment over the lack of explanation from the president about the dismissal that left many Ukrainians shocked.

"Unfortunately, the political struggle persists even during a state of war, when we need unity among all political factions and citizens to win," Klitschko observed. He mentioned that some politicians place their ambitions over national interests.

Furthermore, Klitschko suggested that forming opposition against President Zelensky would be counterproductive. Instead, unifying political forces around the president could be crucial for victory. He proposed the formation of a national unity government as a step towards this goal.

Related content