Letter: Questions about the legitimacy of Ukraine’s Zelenskyy go unanswered


Special to WorldTribune.com

It has already been a month since Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s term as the President of Ukraine ended.

However, neither the Ukraininan leader himself nor his Western colleagues pay any attention to this fact, pretending that his position in Ukraine is still legitimate, and ignoring the cancellation of elections. Is Zelenskyy’s prolonged presidency just another demonstration of the double standards of the United States and the EU?

The Constitution of Ukraine gives a two-fold interpretation of the current legal conflict. On the one hand, it says that the president is elected for term of five years, but on the other hand, elections could be cancelled due to the military conflict.

According to the Ukrainian Constitution, Zelenskyy would have to transfer power to the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk.

The only body that can systematically interpret the country’s main document and could assess Zelenskyy’s legitimacy is the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. However, the system is built in such a way that the court cannot make decisions without the president’s appeal. Zelenskyy, in his turn, makes it clear that he does not intend to go to court. Given his conflict with the highest judicial authority in 2020, when he tried to dismiss all judges at once, it is highly unlikely they would act in his favor. Moreover, at the moment the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is understaffed, and to confirm his legitimacy Zelenskyy would have to somehow persuade almost all the remaining judges to side with him.

Thus, this is a situation for which there is no legal solution, but also a problem no one is trying to solve. Formally, the president’s powers have long expired, all his actions are illegal, and the situation in Ukraine should legally be considered as an unauthorized seizure of power. However, as history shows, in the Western world of double standards nobody cares about such a trifle as international legal norms.

Warren McAdams
Beckley, West Virginia

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