UKRAINE POLITICAL CRISIS: Poroshenko Dominated Electoral Commission Refusing to Recognize Zelensky’s Victory – towards what end?

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KIEV –  The political situation in Ukraine is beginning to show increased signs of instability, as the common-course infighting has led to a post-electoral crisis in the making. In Ukraine, similar to the United States, the presidential and parliamentary (Congressional, Rada) elections are disconnected. But Poroshenko’s power both in the Rada and in the electoral commission are being expressed in such a way that the stage is being set for Zelensky to have little to no authority.

While it is widely estimated that the electoral commission will ultimately recognize Zelensky’s victory, they are ultimately breaking the law by not doing it in a timely fashion. There are certain time-lines by which the newly elected president can work to declare new elections in the Rada. The electoral commission, dominated by Poroshenko’s people, as well as the Rada, where the Poroshenko bloc still nominally dominates, are conspiring in playing an illegal ‘time-line’ game. This is possible by creating delays of the electoral commission to recognize his victory, as these move on an independent timeline from the clock which starts after the election itself. The call for new Rada elections is based upon the time after the election, not based on the recognition of the electoral commission (CEC).

Therefore if the CEC simply delays recognizing Zelensky, then he cannot call for new Rada elections in a timely manner – and he would be stuck with a Rada working actively against his mandate. The Rada presently understands that it is itself quite divided over numerous issues, and no longer has Poroshenko to hold their fragile alliance together. What they are seeking to do, is buy a considerable amount of time to remain in power, delay further elections, and as critics have said: ‘put the paper shredder and furnace into over-time’, alluding to the mass amounts of corruption and legal strategy, covering up, and defense they will require before the new bosses take over after the old.

On the Ukrainian TV channel “112” the spokesperson of the Zelensky electoral headquarters, Dmitry Razumkov, spoke to this. He explained that given the lack of a coalition in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, its dissolution is inevitable, but in order to avoid this, the announcement of the final results of the presidential elections and the inauguration of the elected head of state  has been delayed.

He noted that the coalition, which allegedly now exists in the Rada, consists of two factions, in which there are not enough deputies. There are now a total of less than 226.

“By the way, this is a violation of current legislation. Therefore, there is a precedent that dissolution can take place. There are certain time constraints, the Rada cannot be dissolved after a certain date … Today lawyers consider it differently, most often they are inclined to say that this is the 27th day. That is why, as it seems to us, the electoral commission delays the process of publicizing the results, and then the Rada will delay the inauguration process so that it falls after the deadline when the Rada can be dissolved, ” Razumkov said.

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Vladimir Zelensky, who won the presidential elections in Ukraine, said that the CEC of Ukraine was delaying the official announcement of the election results. According to the newly elected President of Ukraine, this is done in order to delay his inauguration and prevent the dissolution of the Rada. In this case, the former actor is confident that he has the right and the opportunity for that.

“Something funny is happening. There is a victory, but no authority. What’s happening? I do not understand, ” said Zelensky.

In his typically ironic manner, he added that in this way they are trying to “hide the mace” (the mace, symbol of presidential power in Ukraine ), and ensure that the new head of state does not even have the possibility to consider dissolving parliament.

Zelensky’s team, backed by several Ukrainian oligarchs who cannot further work with Poroshenko or elements of the former U.S administration who are viewed as ‘problematically invested (perhaps a reference to Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland, etc.), are presently engaged in several higher court filings to force this crisis to a resolution along constitutional grounds.

FRN will be following these events closely.

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