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Ukraine President Gets Sworn In, Calls Snap Election

Comedian says his first priority will be peace in the east
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2019 12:21 AM CDT
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The inauguration ceremony of new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, May 20, 2019.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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(Newser) – After a landslide win in Ukraine's presidential election, Volodymyr Zelenskiy was sworn in Monday—and immediately called a snap parliamentary election. Zelenskiy, a comedian who played a president on TV, dissolved parliament and called the election because the legislature is still dominated by lawmakers loyal to his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, Reuters reports. The political novice, who campaigned against official corruption, said his first priority would be ending the conflict with Russian-backed rebels in the east of the country, the BBC reports. "We must become Icelanders in football, Israelis in defending our land, Japanese in technology," the new president said, adding that the country's people must also "become Swiss in our ability to live happily with each other, despite any differences." (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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