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Zelensky is sworn in as Ukrainian new president

By Ren Qi in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-21 09:16
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky takes oath during his presidential oath-taking ceremony at the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine on May 20, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

Ukrainian actor-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky took office on Monday as the sixth president of the country.

The official inauguration ceremony took place in the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, local media reported.

The 41-year-old Zelensky is a former comedian actor, screenwriter and director.

"I pledge to defend the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine with all my deeds, to take care of the welfare of the Fatherland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people, to defend the rights and freedoms of citizens, to observe the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to fulfill my duties in the interests of all compatriots, to raise the authority of Ukraine in the world," he said.

Ukraine Interfax news reported that Zelensky then put his hand on the Ukrainian constitution and the Open Peresopnytsia Gospel, took the oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine, signed the oath, and handed it over to Ukrainian Constitutional Court Chairperson Natalia Shaptala.

Once the oath was said, Shaptala confirmed that the new Ukrainian president took the oath of allegiance to the people of Ukraine in accordance with Article 104 of the Ukrainian Constitution and took his office.

Then Zelensky was presented with symbols of power: a mace, a badge of the president of Ukraine and the official seal. The head of the Central Electoral Commission, Tatyana Slipachuk, presented Zelensky the identification of the head of state.

Immediately after he was sworn in, Zelensky disbanded the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, which had been one of his campaign promises.

Before he made the announcement, Zelensky asked the parliament to adopt a bill against illegal enrichment and support his motion to discharge the country's defense minister, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service and the prosecutor general within two months.

Zelensky was elected as the sixth president of Ukraine on April 21 for a five-year term.

In his electoral program, Zelensky pledged to root out corruption, ensure the equality of Ukrainian citizens before the law, decide all important state issues through referendums, and to improve healthcare and education services.

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