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5 Mar, 2024 22:12

Zelensky would lose election – poll

The recently sacked General Zaluzhny is more popular than the current president of Ukraine
Zelensky would lose election – poll

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky would lose office if an election were held right now, according to a poll made public on Tuesday.

Zelensky, whose current mandate expires this spring, has cancelled all elections, citing marital law.

A survey carried out by the Ukrainian pollster SOCIS shows Zelensky trailing in the first round and then losing a runoff to the recently sacked General Valery Zaluzhny. 

The SOCIS survey shows Zaluzhny with 41% of the vote in the first round, and 67.5% in a runoff, while the incumbent would secure only 23.7% initially and no more than 32.5% in the second round.

Former President Pyotr Poroshenko would get just 6.4% of the vote in the first round, while the ex-speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Dmitry Razumov, just 5.6%, the pollster said.

If the parliamentary elections were held today, a hypothetical “Zaluzhny bloc” would gain 46.4% of the seats, and Zelensky’s party just 21.1%, while Poroshenko would max out at 7.5%.

Polls in late 2023 showed Zaluzhny giving Zelensky a challenge. However, the incumbent president was predicted to receive over 47% of the vote in the first round and defeat the general in a runoff.

However, over 65% of the respondents to the latest survey agreed that elections should not be held while the conflict is ongoing. The poll was carried out from February 22 to March 1, on a representative sample of 3,000 adult Ukrainians, with a margin of error of 2.1%.

Before entering politics, Zelensky was a comedian who played Ukraine’s president on a TV show. In 2019, he campaigned on a peace platform and challenged Poroshenko, winning the runoff in a landslide with 73% of the vote. His newly formed party, named after the TV show (Servant of the People) swept the June 2019 parliamentary elections as well. 

Last December, Zelensky announced that there would be no elections for either president or parliament as long as martial law remains in force, essentially extending his mandate and that of the parliament indefinitely.

Zaluzhny was the supreme commander of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until February 8, when he was replaced by Russian-born General Aleksandr Syrsky. According to multiple reports in the media, the former had been clashing with Zelensky and showing political ambitions, but Zaluzhny has never made any overt moves to become involved in Ukrainian politics.

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