Zelenskiy sworn in as president, announces dissolution of parliament

At today’s swearing-in ceremony, Volodymyr Zelenskiy read out the text of the oath and received a presidential card, badge, official seal and mace (bulava).

In his address to the Ukrainian nation, Zelenskiy announced the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and stressed the need for early parliamentary elections. He urged the parliament to abolish the deputies’ immunity and dismiss the head of the Ukrainian Security Service, the prosecutor general, and the defense minister within two months.

Phot. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

“For many years, I had been doing my best to make Ukrainians laugh. It was my mission, not only my job. In the coming five years I will do everything to keep Ukrainians from crying,” he stressed.

The 2019 Ukrainian presidential election was held on 31 March and 21 April in a two-round system. Zelenskiy, who had previously had no political experience, won a landslide victory, gaining over 70% of the vote.

‘President is a servant of the people,’ Zelenskiy, who plays the role of president in the eponymous TV series, repeatedly said in the course of his election campaign. His plans are serious: an uncompromising fight against corruption, numerous benefits for business and no privileges for the president, deputies and judges — their immunity will be lifted. The ideological basis of the program is democracy and the full accountability of the authorities.

President’s authority is not untethered in Ukraine; its parliament has greater powers. However, the head of state has a strong impact on foreign policy, the National Bank and armed forces.

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