Would Zelensky come to terms with Ukraine's parliament after inauguration?

Author : Serhiy Bykov

Source : 112 Ukraine

It is unlikely that Volodymyr Zelensky dissolves the parliament immediately after inauguration
17:23, 17 May 2019

Volodymyr Zelensky, the candidate for the presidency
Zoya Shu/

On May 20, at 10:00 am, the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky will take place in Ukraine’s capital. The draft resolution of non-affiliated MP Vitaliy Kupriy was supported by 315 MPs of the Verkhovna Rada. Although Zelensky himself suggested holding the ceremony on May 19.

MPs from the National Front, Radical Party of Oleg Lyashko and the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko were against May 19. Allegedly, the inauguration cannot take place on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repression. The argument is weak because the newly elected president can lay flowers before or after the ceremonial meeting.

Related: How could Zelensky defend PrivatBank?

Moreover, this is a good reason to mention repression during the speech. The Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Repression is not an obstacle, by the way, the mayor of Kyiv is holding celebrations in honor of the Days of Europe on that date.

The probability of early elections is growing.

The only reason why parliamentarians voted for May 20 is the desire to show Zelensky that the main institution of power in a parliamentary-presidential republic is a parliament. That is, the Verkhovna Rada was ready to vote for any date except for May 19th. Zelensky’s team might take it as a “slap in the face” of the parliament, which, in turn, can spur the president to dissolve parliament.

It is unlikely that Volodymyr Zelensky dissolves the parliament immediately. Although he has elaborated the draft presidential decree. It is more important for the newly elected president to form a new coalition, appoint a government and fill his quota in the power bloc. This will ensure the beginning of the changes people voted for.

Related: Zelensky's new income and asset declaration system

The new coalition in the Verkhovna Rada will create conditions for balancing power. The president heads the state, the government leads the executive branch, and the Verkhovna Rada passes legislation. It will be extremely difficult for Zelensky to work with the government of PM Volodymyr Groysman. The Cabinet might sabotage the initiative of the newly elected president.

Under the conditions of a parliamentary-presidential republic, it is extremely significant that an anti-crisis manager becomes prime minister. The new prime minister should have experience and a clear plan on how to cope with the challenges that face the country. First of all, the challenges relate to negotiations with the IMF and a possible gas crisis.

According to the Ministry of Finance, this year Ukraine must pay 17 billion USD of debt. Only until the end of June, payments should reach 5,5 billion USD.

Related: Ukraine's Parliament appoints date of Zelensky's inauguration on May 20

The gas crisis is also a challenge for the government. Excessive tariffs for Russian gas, which is purchased through European gaskets, are the direct responsibility of the government. After all, the Cabinet sets tariffs for gas. It is unlikely that the current composition of the government is able to cope with the problem of pricing.

Related: All draft decrees on date of Zelensky’s inauguration recognized legal

With such predictable problems, we need to create a new coalition today, appoint a new coalition government and respond to the challenges. The effective work of the government will determine whether Zelensky keeps the rating until the next election.

I do not speak about changes in the electoral legislation. There are not enough votes to support the electoral code with open lists. So there is an option to go to the usual proportional system with a low barrier. But some parliamentarians believe that such a bill should be introduced by the president.

According to the current mixed system, it is inexpedient to hold elections, both scheduled and snap ones. Under these conditions, the new parliament might be worse than the current one.

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 112.International and its owners. 

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