Political novice and former comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky called snap parliamentary elections minutes after being sworn in as president of Ukraine on Monday, in an attempt to consolidate power after his landslide victory.
“I am dissolving parliament,” the former comedian said to legislators after taking the oath of office in front of them.
A snap vote is expected to benefit Mr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party, which polls indicate has support of about 40 per cent of voters.
He named his party after the television series in which he plays a school teacher who is unexpectedly elected president and who battles corrupt oligarchs and political elites.
41 year old Zelensky, backed by an anti-establishment wave of support, defeated outgoing president Petro Poroshenko with 73 per cent of votes cast in an April 21 runoff.
But it was not immediately clear if a snap parliamentary poll, which would bring a general election scheduled for October forward by about two months, would legally stand.
It could be recalled that observers had in the past days said calling snap elections could be challenged by the courts.
The ruling coalition of Mr Poroshenko collapsed on Friday, setting the stage for a 30-day period to form a new ruling majority in parliament, a period during which some politicians said snap elections could not be called.
Mr Zelensky’s camp has claimed that Mr Poroshenko’s ruling coalition had de facto collapsed earlier and could uphold this argument in court battles over the move.
Also, Ukraine’s western backers are monitoring Mr Zelensky’s first moves and appointments amid concern about his inexperience and the influence of Igor Kolomoisky, an oligarch who backed the comedian’s campaign through strong television coverage.