Zelensky Willing To Hold Elections, but Only if the US and Other Allies Foot the Bill

Sergey Tinyakov / shutterstock.com
Sergey Tinyakov / shutterstock.com

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he needs to have elections, but given all the logistical problems he would have to hold them in 2024, he needs the European Union and the US to foot the bill in full for them. He claims that a normal election cycle costs the nation roughly 5 billion hryvnia, or $135 million. However, given the fact that they are at war, he couldn’t speculate on what they would now cost.

He claimed he and his biggest conservative asset Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have been talking about the prospect of these elections.

“I told [Sen. Graham]: If the United States and Europe give us financial support… I’m sorry, I will not hold elections on credit, I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections either. But if you give me this financial support, if the parliamentarians realize that we need to do this, then let’s quickly change the legislation and, most importantly, let’s take risks together…Observers should be in the trenches. I told him: observers must be sent to the frontline so that the elections are legitimate for us and for the whole world. And this is absolutely fair.”

The problem is, it’s not fair.

As it stands, the current martial law is signed through November 15th. If they went ahead with them, it would go against a policy that says elections during martial law are illegal. Additionally, the Presidential elections would normally be slated to be held in March of 2024. With Zelensky banning multiple parties in the nation for being allegedly pro-Russian, it remains to be seen who his opposition in such an election could even be.

His acknowledgment of the nation having massive issues with the idea of voting doesn’t stop inside his borders either.

Acknowledging the role the European Union has taken on by housing so many displaced Ukrainians, he openly said that they need to set up polling stations, man them, and run the foreign part of the show for that. In a part that immediately sounds like a Joe Biden excuse, he claims they lack the infrastructure to properly man the polling stations or get in equipment. As such, the buck should be passed along to them.

His tongue-in-cheek nod to the US was the best, though.

“How will the military be able to vote? Show me the infrastructure. No one has shown it yet. How will people abroad be able to vote? No one has shown me. There is a way out. I am ready for it. I am talking about this publicly now, I told [Graham]. I have no secrets. We need an election in Ukraine next year. I want to see this country have a free and fair election even while it is under assault.”

The US has decades of doing this with mail and overseas voters. Servicemembers on the front lines have had absentee ballot options since the early days of the country. This expertise under fire is something the US excelled at in two decades of conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. A record of being able to do this under fire is exactly what the Ukrainian people want if these elections are to be held. If the US offers this assistance, it could be taken as putting boots on ground officially, and that could be a costly choice.

The US has been pushing back against Russia and China for some time now. This battle to keep them in the background and away from American interests has been a failing one. As the war between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, the US and China are chirping a bit more, with Biden already looking about as resilient as a piss-soaked paper sack. If they decide to throw down, we better hope the top brass tells Biden to stand down because if not, we are in serious trouble.