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  • Newly elected President of the Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy celebrates his victory in Kiev.

    Newly elected President of the Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy celebrates his victory in Kiev. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 May 2019

Zelenskiy, a comedian with no prior political experience, won the presidency by a landslide last month but his new party has no representation in parliament, making it expedient for him to call a snap poll while his popularity remains high.

The new Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office on Monday and shocked the audience by announcing that he was dissolving parliament and calling for a snap election, aiming to win seats in a legislature still dominated by loyalists of his predecessor.

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Working with parliament will be crucial to his ability to meet the expectations of his voters and also pass reforms needed to keep foreign aid flowing.

Zelenskiy called on lawmakers to use the two months until the snap election to pass a law that would strip them of immunity from prosecution and another law that bans officials from illegally enriching themselves.

“You will have two months for this. Do it and you will deserve medals,” Zelenskiy said after being sworn in. “I dissolve the Rada (parliament) of the eighth convocation.”

Zelensky stated that one of his first tasks as President is to achieve a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separists are involved in a deadly conflict against his nation's armed forces in the Donbass region.

The newly elected President said that he is open to dialogue with Russia, but only after they return Ukrainian territories and prisoners of war.

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