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BREAKING NEWS

Snap elections on horizon as President Zelensky plans to dismiss Ukrainian parliament

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Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Kyiv
Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, Kyiv -
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REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
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Ukraine's president-elect who was sworn into office on Monday morning has vowed to dismiss his parliament.

During a ceremony at the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv, 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 Zelensky's inauguration speech, which aligned Ukraine with Europe as "our common dream" as well as inviting emigrated Ukrainians home so that their "knowledge, experience and their mental values" may help the country develop.

Can Zelensky dismiss the parliament?

In short, Zelensky is permitted to dismiss the parliament provided he has legal cause. As it stands, there are no parliamentary groups who support Zelensky, however, his party is at its peak popularity in the public domain.

Once the president signs the official order to dissolve the parliament, his legal reasons for doing so will be declared.

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 Zelensky'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.

Zelensky also pledged his commitment to ensuring peace in Donbas.

Ceasing fire in Donbas, decried the president is "our first assignment". In order to fulfil peace, Zelensky announced that he is prepared to "lose my popularity and my post". "History is unjust" observed the president "it’s true, we didn’t start this war, but it’s up to us to finish it."

The president's next plan for Ukraine is to reclaim "lost territories" and have Ukrainian captives returned to their country. "Both Crimea and Donbas" announced Zelensky "is our Ukrainian land."

Background:

Volodymyr Zelensky, who won by a landslide victory (73%) in April's elections has no previous political experience.

Zelensky 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.

Zelensky'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. Zelensky 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 Zelensky's election campaign.

Expectations for this president's term are high. 39% of Ukrainians expect Zelensky 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.