Ukraine’s ruling coalition splits to avoid snap elections; FM resigns

The People’s Front, a member of Ukraine’s governing coalition led by former prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced that it will withdraw from the coalition.

“The coalition formed in 2014, that was active until now, has run its course. The two governments have made more changes during the last five years than [any other] during the last two decades,” the leader of the party’s parliamentary group Maksym Burbak said in the Verkhovna Rada on May 17.

With the People’s Front having pulled out, parties in the Ukrainian parliament now have 30 days to form a new coalition.

The party’s announcement comes just a day after Dmitry Razumkov, adviser to president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky said that new man had decided to dissolve parliament and call for early elections. Forming a new coalition would in theory mean that the president is unable to do so. According to Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko however, Mr Zelensky might still be able to dissolve the Rada regardless. “[He] can refer to the fact that the coalition really ceased to exist earlier, as evidenced by court decisions on the provision of lists of coalition members,” the analyst told UNIAN news agency.

The comedian-turned-politician, who is set to be inaugurated on May 20, has no MPs in parliament.

Later on May 17, the country’s foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin resigned from his post.

“As I promised, I have just written a letter of resignation. On Monday, on the day of inauguration, I will submit it to the Verkhovna Rada and the new president of Ukraine,” he said.

Mr Klimkin noted that he had informed the president-elect in advance.

“[Zelensky] should have the right to his own foreign policy team and strategy. But I told him that I am ready to help if necessary and if our principles and our vision coincide,” said Mr Klimkin.