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Ukraine gears up for snap parliamentary elections

Ukraine gears up for snap parliamentary elections

Ukrainians will head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new parliament, three months after Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a former comedian with no previous political experience, was elected president, Al Jazeera reports.

Zelenskiy, who took office in May, has so far been stymied by a parliament dominated by his opponents.

He ordered the election for the Verkhovna Rada to be held three months earlier than scheduled to try to get a majority that would support his promised fight against Ukraine’s endemic corruption and for other reforms.

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According to reports, Zelenskiy’s party has the most support in opinion polls ahead of Sunday’s early parliamentary election, but its ability to obtain a solid majority is far from certain.

His “Servant of the People” party, named after the television comedy in which he played a teacher who unexpectedly becomes president, is supported by 52 percent of the Ukrainians who intend to vote, according to a survey by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology.

His party intends to continue a pro-Western course toward joining the European Union and NATO, combining this with a package of economic reforms.

However whoever wins the election will inherit a country at the center of the West’s standoff with Moscow following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in 2014 and its role in a separatist conflict in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine that has killed 13,000 people in the past five years.

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