As Ukrainian president's term officially ends during martial law, constitutional court may be asked to rule on timing of future elections

By Igor Burdyga, 21 May
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine (photo credit: President of Ukraine via flickr)
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine (photo credit: President of Ukraine via flickr)
Volodymyr Zelenskyy's five-year term as Ukraine's president formally ends on May 20. An election would normally have been held in late March, but the parliament postponed the vote as the country is still at war and under martial law. But a major question remains for Ukrainians: who might succeed Zelenskyy once he leaves office? [ . . . ] Ukrainian legal experts consulted by DW said they expected Zelenskyy would remain in power until a new president is elected. "The Ukrainian constitution states this clearly," said Andriy Mahera, of the Center of Policy and Legal Reform in Kyiv. "The president does not automatically lose his powers five years after inauguration. These powers are only removed when the newly elected president takes office, i.e., after elections." Presidential and parliamentary elections are currently out of the question. Ukraine's constitution places a temporary restriction on the former, whereas martial law bans both — in part , officials have said, to protect voters from harm. [ . . . ] Legal experts told DW that the Constitutional Court should settle the debate over the president's powers and the timing of an election. "Only the Constitutional Court can interpret the constitution to ascertain whether other laws are in line with it," said Mahera. The president, government, Supreme Court, a group of 45 parliamentarians or parliament's human rights commissioner would need to call on the Constitutional Court to review the matter. Dzerkalo Tyzhnia reported in late February that Zelenskyy's office was working on a petition to the Constitutional Court. According to the news site , the plan was for 45 members of Zelenskyy's Servant of the People party to file the petition.
Read the full article here: DW

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