Ukraine inaugurates comedian Zelensky as president

FILES-UKRAINE-POLITICS-VOTE-INAUGURATION Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky |AFP

Comedian and former television star Volodymyr Zelensky inaugurated his new role as president of Ukraine. And one of the first things he did was to dissolve the parliament and call for a snap election. Zelenesky had a landslide win against incumbent Petro Poroshenko. He walked to the Parliament from his home nearby saying that he wanted a low-key swearing in ceremony. He also exchanged high fives with supporters waiting outside and took selfies with them. At 41, Zelenesky is the youngest president of Ukraine post the Soviet era.

Zelenesky however does not enjoy majority support of MPs in the Parliament. His team had said that the country needed a 'parliament that functions'. Zelensky had already indicated that he would dissolve the parliament and call new elections in order to benefit from his current popularity. The separatist authorities had indicated that they could be ready to negotiate with Zelensky.

Zelensky has vowed to continue the country's pro-Western course but beyond that, his plans for the country is still sketchy. Also, critics have been questioning how he will deal with the enormous challenges of the separatist conflict and ongoing economic problems.

The leader of one of the self-proclaimed separatist republics in Ukraine's industrial Donbass region, Denis Pushilin, on Friday told Russia's RIA Novosti news agency that he was “ready for dialogue” with the new authorities in Kiev, “naturally taking into account the interests of Donbass”.