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Power in Ukraine Has Been Usurped: Putin

9 Jun 2024 01:37

Islam Times - Power in Ukraine has been usurped, and its executive authorities have lost their legitimacy, Vladimir Putin said on Friday during a plenary session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Vladimir Zelensky remains in power in Ukraine despite his term in office having officially expired on May 20. He opted not to hold a presidential election, citing martial law imposed due to the conflict with Russia. Zelensky argues that his mandate as Ukraine’s leader continues and that no presidential election can be held during wartime.

According to RT, Putin pointed out that the Ukrainian constitution forbids elections during a period of emergency and explicitly states that elected lawmakers should retain their powers until a new parliament can be chosen by the Ukrainian people. However, the Constitution does not provide for prolonging a president’s term.

“There are relevant articles in the criminal code that imply the usurpation of power. It looks like we are dealing with the usurpation of power [in Ukraine],” he said.

Moscow could still negotiate with Kiev, Putin told the audience on Friday, stating that in accordance with Ukraine’s constitution, presidential power should be transferred to the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament.

“So, if you want to negotiate, you can find someone to do it with,” the Russian leader said.

Ukrainian parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk has insisted that Zelensky remains head of state and denounced as “an enemy” anyone who questions his legitimacy. He also stated that Zelensky has a constitutional obligation to remain in office until a new president is sworn in.

Putin has previously suggested that Ukraine’s Western backers could be keeping Zelensky in place in order to blame him and his government for “unpopular decisions” taken by Kiev before replacing them with someone else.

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