Ukraine to inaugurate comedian Zelensky as president

Clay Curtis
May 20, 2019

Ukraine's new Jewish president Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn into office Monday in Kiev, but not one single Israeli minister or senior official was present at the event.

Before the assumption of the presidency, Zelensky took an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people.

The president has the authority to dissolve parliament and call snap elections, but the timing may nevertheless prove controversial and the move could face legal challenges. "In the next five years I will do everything so that Ukrainians don't cry".

Next, the president spoke with the inaugural address.

Closing his speech, Zelenskiy referred to his previous career as a comedian.

Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian actor and candidate reacts after debates between in the weekend presidential run-off at the Olympic stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, April 19, 2019.

Zelenskiy is hoping to ride the wave of his electoral success to get his supporters into parliament.

"I made a decision for myself to resign on Wednesday after the next government meeting", he said in a televised statement.

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He used a photo of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan with Salman Khan , himself and Abhishek Bachchan to describe the Lok Sabha 2019 results. Another user wrote, "You tweeting this pic is a sign that Aishwarya made a sensible decision".

He ditched the idea of a traditional motorcade to his inauguration, walking to the parliament Kiev through a park packed with people. Experts say that Lutsenko, who is involved in an ongoing effort by allies of President Donald Trump to accuse Ukraine of meddling in US elections in favor of Trump's rivals, has been playing politics in both Ukraine and the U.S. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky calls putting an end to the war in the Donbass Region as his first goal serving as the leader of the country.

Though he launched some reforms, he was criticised for failing to improve living standards or effectively fight corruption.

Ahead of his inauguration, Zelensky had already threatened to launch the highly complex process of dissolving parliament and calling new elections in order to benefit from his current popularity.

The political situation prompted one pro-Western lawmaker, Serguiy Vysotsky, to warn Zelensky that the inauguration "isn't the end of your adventures - it's just the beginning".

In his speech, Zelenskiy said his priority is ending the war with Russia in Ukraine's east that has killed over 13,000 people since 2014, and he continued the conciliatory message for Russian-speaking Ukrainians that he had offered in his campaign.

Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, paused on the way to his inauguration to take a selfie with his supporters in Kiev.

Monday's ceremony was markedly different from past inaugurations in Ukraine and the usual forbidding grandiosity that marks such occasions in former Soviet countries.

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