Ukrainian lawmakers have set May 20 as the day of the inauguration of incoming President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
What is inauguration?
The inauguration is a formal solemn ceremony held in the session hall of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, it is the process of swearing a president-elect into office and thus making that person the incumbent.
The date of the inauguration is set by the Verkhovna Rada. The inauguration of the new president should take place within 30 days from the moment of the official election results promulgation. More specifically - no later than June 3.
The inauguration procedure is not enshrined in law, but there are certain rules enshrined in the Constitution and the Law on the Verkhovna Rada.
The general rules of the President of Ukraine inauguration have been formed during the time of independence:
- The Verkhovna Rada appoints a solemn meeting at which the newly elected president takes the oath.
- The head of CEC, the head of Constitutional Court and a number of other officials (the lists are coordinated with the newly elected president) are invited to participate in the meeting.
- The President takes the oath, putting one hand on the Constitution of Ukraine and (optionally) the other - on the Peresopnytske Gospel, which has become a kind of inauguration symbol.
“After that, he signs the text of the oath, which he hands over to the head of the Constitutional Court, and that gives it to the head of the Verkhovna Rada.
The text of the oath of the president of Ukraine
"I, (name and surname), by the will of the people elected the President of Ukraine, assuming this high post, solemnly swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself to protect sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to take care of the good of the Motherland and the well-being of the Ukrainian people, to uphold the rights and freedoms of citizens, to adhere to the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to fulfill my duties in the interests of all compatriots, to increase the authority of Ukraine in the world. "
After that, the head of the CEC presents the certificate to the president of Ukraine, and the head of the Constitutional Court gives him the symbols of presidential power: a mace, a seal and a badge.
Next, the president speaks with the inaugural address.
Why the inauguration date is important
A total of 315 lawmakers on May 16 voted in favor of the date, while two voted against it.
Earlier in the day, the Verkhovna Rada rejected proposals to hold the inauguration on May 19, the date Zelensky has proposed.
Zelensky defeated President Petro Poroshenko in an April 21 runoff election with landslide 73 percent of votes. His opponent received less than 25 percent.
The president-elect, who has suggested he might dissolve parliament and call snap elections, has accused lawmakers of deliberately postponing the swearing-in ceremony.
Under Ukraine's constitution, Zelenskiy would have seven days after his inauguration to dissolve the legislature, whose term is set to end in November.
The 41-year-old has vowed to eradicate Ukraine's widespread corruption and end the war with Russia-backed separatists in the country's east that has killed some 13,000 people since April 2014.
A comedian with no political experience, Zelensky will also need to deal with Moscow's takeover of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula in March 2014.
Putin has not congratulated Zelensky on his election victory.