Ukrainian parliament defies new president, keeps Cabinet

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman gestures as he addresses the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Ukrainian lawmakers refused to accept the Cabinet's resignation in a snub to the nation's newly-sworn president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who wants to form his own team but faces parliament dominated by supporters of his election rival. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman gestures as he addresses the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, May 30, 2019. Ukrainian lawmakers refused to accept the Cabinet's resignation in a snub to the nation's newly-sworn president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who wants to form his own team but faces parliament dominated by supporters of his election rival. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday refused to accept the Cabinet's resignation, in another snub to the nation's newly sworn-in president.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the comedian who won a landslide victory in last month's presidential election, faces a hostile parliament dominated by former President Petro Poroshenko's supporters.

Zelenskiy called snap parliamentary elections for July 21 in a bid to get more of his supporters into parliament. In anticipation of that, lawmakers have sought to block the president's efforts to form a more loyal Cabinet.

The Verkhovna Rada refused on Thursday to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, keeping his Cabinet in place.

That vote follows the parliament turning down a proposal by Zelenskiy to amend the electoral law last week.

Despite the Rada's resistance, Zelenskiy on Thursday asked parliament to dismiss three top Poroshenko loyalists — Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak and SBU Security service chief Vasyl Gritsak. A date has not yet been set for a vote.

Zelenskiy also has called for the dismissal of Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — a move that would similarly require parliamentary approval.

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