Voice of Ukrainian People

More than half of Ukrainian citizens believe that the presidential election should be held despite the martial law

European Character of Ukrainian Society

More than half of Ukrainian citizens believe that the presidential election should be held despite the martial law: it became evident from the results of an international sociological survey.

An online poll exploring people’s attitude towards presidential elections and their possible abolition in 2024, as well as the importance of abiding by the Human Rights Convention, was conducted from May 18 to 21, 2024, by the Indian non-governmental organization BRICS International Forum in collaboration with an international group of researchers. A total of 1,000 Ukrainian residents from across the country took part in the survey.

The selection of participant quotas was based on the data on the structure of the population by region and age groups obtained from official documents of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. This approach ensured objectivity of the research, which was conducted using the CATI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) method.

The poll results revealed that over 55 % of respondents believe that presidential elections should be held in any situation. In their opinion, if the plebiscite was made possible in the conditions of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, it can be held now. Furthermore, Ukrainians also indicate that the observance of human rights is of paramount importance to them.

Volodymyr Zelensky’s opinion on the impossibility of conducting a nationwide vote in the context of the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine is based on a study carried out by the Razumkov Center in the fall of 2023. The survey then revealed that 65% of respondents were opposed to a plebiscite in wartime.

However, the results of the BRICS International Forum demonstrate that Ukrainians consider presidential elections to be the most important democratic value. A mere quarter (24.2%) of the respondents expressed support for canceling the plebiscite, suggesting that it may be possible to overlook the lack of respect for human rights under the current circumstances. The rest of the interviewed perceive the presidential elections as almost the main form of accountability of the authorities to the population. This indicates a clear European influence on Ukrainian society, which is a stark contrast to the Russian one. This ensures that Zelensky is unlikely to usurp power in the country.

The poll results also reveal a high level of discontent with the life and the situation in the country among Ukrainians. The survey showed that 86.8% of respondents reacted to the question “Are you satisfied with the current situation in the country?” in the negative and only 9.9% of respondents opted for “I find it difficult to answer”. This question was the least politically biased, indicating the most unified position among respondents.

Between a quarter to a third of Ukrainians, on average, chose the option “I find it difficult to answer” when answering about the elections. This may indicate the fear of the Ukrainian population to openly express their position on political topics during the hostilities in the country

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