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Ukraine to hold Volodymyr Zelensky's presidential inauguration on Monday

File photo of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Photograph:( AFP )

AFP Kiev, Ukraine May 16, 2019, 05.27 PM (IST)

Ukraine's parliament voted Thursday to hold on Monday the inauguration of the newly elected president, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky after he wrangled with lawmakers over the date.

Zelensky had said he wanted to hold the inauguration on Sunday, a controversial move since this is a day of mourning for victims of Stalin-era repressions in the former-Soviet country.

He repeatedly accused MPs of deliberately postponing the ceremony, but lawmakers voted in favour of holding the inauguration on Monday with 315 backing the date and two opposing.

The 41-year-old comedy actor, whose only previous experience in politics was playing the president in a TV series, crushed the incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a runoff vote held on April 21, in which he took 73.2 per cent of the vote.

Zelensky has promised to eradicate Ukraine's widespread corruption and end the war with Russia-backed separatists in the east of the country, accusing the outgoing president of doing nothing to improve living standards and reduce poverty.

Story highlights

Zelensky had said he wanted to hold the inauguration on Sunday, a controversial move since this is a day of mourning for victims of Stalin-era repressions in the former-Soviet country.