Ukraine's ruling coalition breaks up ahead of Zelenskiy inauguration

The People's Front party in Ukraine announced it was exiting the ruling coalition on Friday and looking to form "a new coalition with a new agenda."

Party leader Maksym Burbak told lawmakers that the move was caused by the new political configuration in Ukraine, as the country prepares to swear in comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy as president on Monday.

"New president," Burbak said. "New agenda; new coalition."

However, some observers interpreted the move as an attempt to prevent the new president from dissolving parliament to call new elections.

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Ploy against Zelenskiy?

The now-defunct ruling coalition is allied with the outgoing president Petro Poroshenko who suffered a devastating defeat in last month's runoff. His rival Zelenskiy is a relative newcomer and his "Servant of the People" party has no seats in parliament.

Following the coalition's break up, lawmakers have a legal deadline of one month to form a new majority. After the deadline, the president is allowed to dissolve the assembly and call a new election.

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However, Ukrainian law also says parliament cannot be dissolved in the last six months of its term. The assembly's term is set to expire in late October this year.

This means that, by the time the deadline for forming the coalition expires, the other legal limitation would kick in and prevent any attempts by Zelenskiy to dissolve parliament.

dj/rt (Reuters, Interfax, AP)

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