Snap elections on horizon as President Zelenskiy plans to dismiss Ukrainian parliament
20 May 2019, 11:26
Ukraine’s president-elect who was sworn into office on Monday morning has vowed to dismiss his parliament, Euronews reports.
During a ceremony at the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, the new president listened to a traditional choir before addressing MPs and dignitaries with his first presidential speech.
This climatic decision was announced at the end of Zelenskiy’s inauguration speech, which observed an alliance with Europe, and invited emigrated Ukrainians home to “contribute to their country”.
What does this mean for Ukraine?
Primarily, this promise will mean that snap elections will be held in Ukraine this summer. As it stands, there are no lawmakers from Zelenskiy’s party in government, yet his party is currently the most popular in the country. Given that there is no coalition, it is within the president’s right to dismiss the parliament.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who won by a landslide victory – 73%, in April’s elections has no previous political experience.
Zelenskiy is known for his role in a TV comedy in which he played a man who accidentally becomes president of Ukraine. In the show, a schoolteacher is inaugurated as president after a video of him speaking about corruption goes viral.
Zelenskiy’s election promises were deemed ambitious by voters. Among other issues, he vowed to face poverty in Ukraine, which currently sits as one of the poorest nations in Europe. Zelenskiy also promised to change the dynamic between Ukraine and neighbouring Russia, which he declared an “aggressor-state.”
Critics have commented on the president’s alleged vagueness in combating these issues, however. This vagueness, reports Reuters, traded in on his reputation as an honest ‘everyman’ which was cultivated by his television role. The move to dismiss the parliament, may be viewed by many as an initial action to deliver on the ambitious plans for reform promised in Zelenskiy’s election campaign.
Expectations for this president’s term are high. 39% of Ukrainians expect Zelenskiy to cut their heating bills within his first 100 days of term. 35% expect him to fulfil his election promise of facing corruption by stripping lawmakers of their immunity from prosecution.