Ukraine’s Parliament Votes to Extend Martial Law, Pushing Back Elections

Parliamentary elections were scheduled for October, but martial law is extended until November 15

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Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to extend martial law and general mobilization, a move that pushes back parliamentary elections that were scheduled for October.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said elections can’t happen under martial law because it’s prohibited under Ukraine’s constitution.

“If we have martial law, we cannot have elections. The constitution prohibits any elections during martial law. If there is no martial law, then there will be,” Zelensky told The Washington Post in May.

Martial law has been extended several times since it was declared by Zelensky on February 24, 2022, when Russia first invaded. It’s expected to be extended as long as the war continues.

Ukraine’s next presidential election is scheduled for March 2024, which will also be pushed back if the war is still raging. The vote on Thursday extended martial law and general mobilization for another 90 days, from when it was set to expire on August 18 to November 15.

Ukraine’s martial law bans men ages 18-60 from leaving the country. In March 2022, Zelensky used his martial law powers to ban 11 opposition parties and nationalize TV media. The Ukrainian government has also seized control of several companies using wartime authorities.

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