Ukraine's ruling coalition collapses after elections

Published 18.05.2019 00:08

Ukraine's ruling coalition broke up on Friday and one of its two constituent parties said it would try to form a new one, annoying President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy who is weighing calling a snap parliamentary election to bolster his power.

The decision of the People's Front party to quit the faction of outgoing President Petro Poroshenko triggers a 30-day period for discussions on forging a new coalition. This would probably prevent Zelenskiy from calling an election as it would be too close to the current planned date of the poll in late October.

Dissolving the parliament is necessary for holding a snap election. However, under Ukrainian law, the president cannot do so if there is no governing coalition. Zelenskiy is to be sworn in as president on Monday.

Zelenskiy, a comedian with no prior political experience, won the presidency by a landslide last month but his new party has no representation in parliament, making it expedient for him to call a snap poll while his popularity remains high. His ability to work with parliament will be crucial to his ability to meet the expectations of his voters and also pass reforms needed to keep foreign aid flowing. Parliament has been dominated by an alliance between Poroshenko's faction and the People's Front since they came to power following street protests in 2014 that ousted Ukraine's previous pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovich. Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party, named after the TV comedy series where he played a fictional president, is on course to win the next parliamentary election but fall short of a majority, a survey by the Reiting pollster showed this week.

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