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Zelensky would lose election – poll

The recently sacked General Zaluzhny is more popular than the current president of Ukraine

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky would not be the winner if an election were held right now, according to a poll made public on Tuesday. The Ukrainian government has postponed all elections for the duration of the conflict with Russia.

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

The SOCIS survey showed Zaluzhny getting 41% of the vote in the first round, going to 67.5% in the runoff, while the incumbent would get 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, would get just 5.6%, the pollster said.

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

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

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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 so long as martial law remained 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 get involved in Ukrainian politics.

March 06, 2024 at 03:42AM

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