Date set for Zelenskyi inauguration in Ukraine amid claims of deliberate delays

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By Natalia Liubchenkova
Date set for Zelenskyi inauguration in Ukraine amid claims of deliberate delays
Copyright  Reuters

The inauguration date for Ukraine’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelenskyi has been set for May 20 during a parliamentary session in Kyiv.

The comedian-turned-politician previously claimed the country's Central Election Commission and parliamentarians were trying to delay the event.

As many as seven different bills were registered in parliament with different dates for the inauguration day, which, according to Ukranian law, had to take place no later than June 3.

A number of experts and local media said some MPs hesitated in backing an earlier date fearing Zelenskyi would disband parliament, which he would technically have the right to do if sworn in before May 27.

Zelenskyi himself put forward May 19 as the potential date and while many supported this idea, others said it was inappropriate as it also marks the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Political Repression.

In Ukraine, a president has to have a legal justification for dismissing parliament — while Zelenskyi could use the fact that there is no coalition in the house to do this, it entails a complicated procedure that could be difficult for him to achieve.

Ukrainian parliament "Verhovna Rada"

Zelenskyi has kept people guessing on his true intentions whether he will try to dismiss parliament, offering no official confirmation.

Given his experience in politics began with his presidential candidacy, the former showman undoubtedly needs strong support in parliament, which might lead him to disband it.

However, it is unclear how his fledgeling party would fair in snap elections, which may lead him to abstain from taking action.

General elections are set to be held in late October, six months after the presidential vote in which Zelenskiy defeated incumbent President Petro Poroshenko.

The inauguration ceremony, which now has to be planned rather quickly, usually takes place in the parliament and is broadcasted on public TV and other channels.

However, Zelenskiy's electoral campaign was full of surprises, so many Ukrainian voters are expecting the same of his inauguration.