Comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy were sworn as President of Ukraine on Monday and immediately moved to remove the country's political landscape from those who believed to be loyal to former President Petro Poroshenko.
During his initial address, Zelenskiy announced that he would dissolve Ukraine's parliament and called for dismissal of prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, a controversial figure tied to President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Experts said Lutsenko, who was involved in ongoing efforts by Allies of President Donald Trump to accuse Ukraine of interfering with US elections in favor of Trump's rivals, has played politics in both Ukraine and the United States
"Zelenskiy's call to Lutsenko's dismissal is a real right when the prosecution did not complain about prosecution, dumped important investigations and turned the agency into its own public relations service group, "said Daria Kaleniuk, chief executive of Ukraine's anti-corruption center, Newsweek. "While other presidential candidates have already resigned, Lutsenko does everything to stay in his position, which is a great shame."
Experts said Zelenskiy, who won the presidency with more than 70 percent of the vote, was calling for early elections to run his campaign's wave of momentum and ensure that his new political party gained seats in parliament.
"There won't be a honeymoon period. Zelenskiy needed parliamentary elections as soon as possible, he needed a [parliament] who was willing to work with him," Melinda Haring, an expert in Ukraine told at the DC think tank Atlantic Council, Newsweek. "Getting a new [parliament] is probably his highest priority." . Volodymyr Zelenskiy leaves Parliament after his sword as Ukraine's sixth president since his independence in 1
The president was empowered to dissolve parliament and call for snap elections, but the timing may nevertheless prove controversial and the movement could be legal challenges. The parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for 27 October, which meant that the parliament would be dissolved by May 27 in order to obtain elections within a legal timeframe. It was unclear whether Zelenskiy had already signed the decree for parliament's dissolution.
On Friday, several parties in Ukraine's ruling coalition broke apart, a step that gave them another 30 days to form a new coalition. Ukrainian law stipulated that the government could not dissolve during that period. The movement, which was pushed forward by the People's Front opposition, was widely regarded as a political maneuver to stop Zelenskiy from calling early elections.
"The president has authority [to dissolve parliament] but it is not clear that he has the power to do so at this time," said Ambassador John Herbst, a former ambassador to Ukraine, Newsweek. "The reason why the coalition was dissolved on Friday was to prevent Zelenskiy from demanding early elections. I do not think you will see a new coalition form before May 27."
Nevertheless, People who were familiar with the case Newsweek said it was likely that parliamentary elections would be held in July. Hours after Zelenskiy & # 39; s inauguration, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, the head of government, announced his resignation. The decision to step down was commonly perceived as an acceptance of the need for snap choices.
In his first address as president, Zelenskiy quoted another actor-turned president Ronald Reagan. He also called for the dismissal of Ukraine's Defense Minister and head of the State Security Service, both of whom are believed to be loyal to Poroshenko.
Zelenskiy also asked lawmakers to remove officials from their immunity from prosecution so that they could be tried for corruption.
"You want two months for this," he said, pointing out that a new parliamentary election would be held in July. "Do it and you will deserve medals."