KYIV, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy dismissed as irresponsible any notion of holding an election in wartime as talks have heated up recently whether Kyiv should be voting when under Russia's assault.
Calling for unity to avoid pointless political discussion, Zelenskiy's comments appeared to rule out any suggestion Ukraine should hold a vote to demonstrate its democratic credentials remain in good order.
While the martial law declared in the country at the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 prohibits authorities from holding elections, there has been increased debate at home and abroad about a potential poll in March 2024.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy said it was critical to concentrate on the military challenges facing Ukraine as it tries to push out Russian forces occupying nearly one-fifth of its land more than 20 months after launching their invasion.
"We all understand that now, in wartime, when there are many challenges, it is utterly irresponsible to engage in topics related to an election in such a frivolous manner," he said.
"We need to recognise that this is a time for defence, a time for battle, upon which the fate of the state and its people depend... I believe that elections are not appropriate at this time."
In peacetime, Ukraine would had held parliamentary elections in October and the first round of presidential vote in early spring 2024.
U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and some other Western officials have urged Kyiv to stage an election to show it can hold free and fair vote while at war.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the weekend the president was weighing the pros and cons of a wartime poll.
Zelenskiy himself had previously said he would be prepared to hold the vote if Ukraine secured the assistance it needed - and if election were deemed necessary.
Photo from Reuters