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Almost 2⁄3 of Ukrainians oppose voting before war ends, survey shows

64% of Ukrainians have a negative attitude toward holding presidential elections in Ukraine in wartime. The main reasons are lack of funding and inability to vote in occupied areas.
Credit: EPA/UPG
Almost 2⁄3 of Ukrainians oppose voting before war ends, survey shows

Over 60% of Ukrainian citizens oppose holding nationwide elections in 2024 before the war ends, a recent poll by the Razumkov Center showed.

The survey, conducted from September 21-27, 2023, found that only 15% of respondents had a positive attitude towards elections next year. The idea was rejected by nearly 64%, while 21% were undecided.

“The majority of Ukrainians believe now is not the time for elections,” said Petro Ivanenko, a sociologist with the Razumkov Center. “With the ongoing war, most feel that resources would be better spent elsewhere.”

Of those against elections in 2024, the most common reason given was lack of funding, cited by 36% of respondents. Nearly 32% said Ukrainian law prohibits voting during martial law, and 31% felt it would be hard to guarantee safety.

“Holding polls under martial law restricts political freedoms, which makes proper elections difficult,” Ivanenko explained. “Additionally, organizing voting in occupied territories is currently impossible.”

Some supporters argued elections are essential for Ukraine’s democracy (6%), would showcase its democratic status (5%), or could lead to government change (5%). But less than one in six respondents held a favorable view overall.

The survey interviewed 2,016 adults nationwide, excluding occupied areas, from September 21-27. The margin of error is 2.3%.

Recently, over 100 Ukrainian human rights NGOs have issued a public appeal stating that presidential elections and full-scale war are incompatible.

A hundred NGOs, including Transparency International Ukraine, Kyiv School of Economics, Civil Network OPORA, Movement CHESNO and others, say that the idea of elections during the ongoing war is dangerous and will lead to the loss of legitimacy of both the process and the elected bodies. This may significantly destabilize the state as a whole.

The appeal comes in response to growing calls from international partners, including US Senator Lindsey Graham, to hold elections in Ukraine in March 2024.

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