Ukraine: Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy sworn in as president

Ukraine: Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy sworn in as president

Ukraine: Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy sworn in as president

Zelensky won a landslide victory against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, becoming Ukraine's youngest post-Soviet president. He ran on a platform promising to shake up Ukraine's politics, which most Ukrainians consider deeply corrupt and self-serving.

The political situation prompted one pro-Western lawmaker, Serguiy Vysotsky, to warn Zelensky that the inauguration "isn't the end of your adventures - it's just the beginning".

Elections to the Supreme Rada were scheduled for October 27, which raised the prospect of Zelenskiy struggling to enact his agenda in the face of a hostile parliament over his first few months in power.

"Zelenskiy needs parliamentary elections as soon as possible, he needs a [parliament] that is willing to work with him", Melinda Haring, an expert on Ukraine the D.C. -based think tank the Atlantic Council, told Newsweek.

Parliamentary rules prohibit it from being disbanded for 30 days after a coalition breaks up, a delay that would create another delay since it would mean the parliament would already be in the final six months of its a term, when it can not be dissolved.

Although Mr Zelensky's newly established Servant of the People party is broadly popular in Ukraine, according to opinion polls, it has no MPs in parliament.

Zelenskiy's supporters argued, however, that the motion was legally void because the coalition had long ceased to exist and that the Constitution, unlike the Rada regulations, does not contain such a rule.

He said that he had offered to work under Zelensky but added that "the president chose a different path".

In a feisty speech after his inauguration, Zelenskiy told the Rada that his main goal for the presidency is to bring peace to eastern Ukraine, where government troops have been fighting Russia-backed separatists for five years in a conflict that has left at least 13,000 dead.

"I am not ashamed of what we were able to do", he said.

Later, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said he would resign Wednesday. "And for that, we need a parliament that functions". If parliament accepts his resignation, he will remain as a caretaker prime minister until the snap election.

'We didn't start this war but it is up to us to end it, ' he said.

In his speech, Zelensky referred to his background as a comedian.

Vasilyeva reported from Moscow.

"Throughout all of my life, I tried to do everything to make Ukrainians laugh", he said.

The 41-year-old comedian said his first task is to end the conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in the country's east, but added that dialogue with Russian Federation could only happen after the return of Ukrainian territory and prisoners of war.

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