Thu, 20 Jun 2019

KYIV -- Ukraine's ruling coalition in parliament has broken up in a possible setback for President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy's plans to hold early general elections.

Parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy announced the European Ukraine coalition's collapse on May 17, after People's Front leader Maksym Burbak said his party was withdrawing from the coalition.

The People's Front is the second-largest faction in the Verkhovna Rada.

The move is seen as a maneuver by lawmakers to postpone or even avoid a dissolution of parliament, which Zelenskiy has vowed to disband following his inauguration on May 20, claiming that it does not represent the interests of the people.

Ukrainian politicians are now arguing over whether Zelenskiy has missed a deadline to dissolve the chamber and call snap elections ahead of parliamentary polls scheduled for October 27.

Under the constitution, parliament now has 30 days to form a new governing coalition, while the president has no right to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada and announce snap elections during that period.

The constitution also does not allow the head of state to dissolve parliament six months before the deputies' duties officially expire.

In a separate development, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin announced in a video statement posted on Facebook that he was resigning, saying he planned to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Klimkin is not affiliated with any political party.

Also on May 17, the head of National Security Council, Oleksandr Turchynov, announced his resignation, citing the incoming new presidential administration.

A Poroshenko ally, Turchynov has been the face of Ukraine's military campaign against Russia-backed militants in eastern Ukraine. He's also a member of the People's Front political party.

With reporting by Gordon and UNIAN

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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