Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman gestures as he addresses the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Ukrainian lawmakers refused to accept the Cabinet's resignation in a snub to the nation's newly-sworn president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who wants to form his own team but faces parliament dominated by supporters of his election rival. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Ukrainian parliament defies new president, keeps Cabinet

May 30, 2019 - 9:54 am

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday refused to accept the Cabinet's resignation, in another snub to the nation's newly sworn-in president.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the comedian who won a landslide victory in last month's presidential election, faces a hostile parliament dominated by former President Petro Poroshenko's supporters.

Zelenskiy called snap parliamentary elections for July 21 in a bid to get more of his supporters into parliament. In anticipation of that, lawmakers have sought to block the president's efforts to form a more loyal Cabinet.

The Verkhovna Rada refused on Thursday to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, keeping his Cabinet in place.

That vote follows the parliament turning down a proposal by Zelenskiy to amend the electoral law last week.

Despite the Rada's resistance, Zelenskiy on Thursday asked parliament to dismiss three top Poroshenko loyalists — Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and SBU Security service chief Vasyl Gritsak. A date has not yet been set for a vote.

Zelenskiy also has called for the dismissal of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — a move that would similarly require parliamentary approval.

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