Foto: Emil Filtenborg.

After Dmytro Razumkov’s dismissal, Ruslan Stefanchuk has been appointed as the new speaker of Verkhovna Rada.

Under much media attention, Dmytro Razumkov, a long time ally of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was dismissed from his post as Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament. Today, Ruslan Stefanchuk was decided as the new speaker with 261 votes in favor, reports Kyiv Post.

Stefanchuck is regarded by many as a loyalist to Zelenskyy, while Dmytro Razumkov has been openly against some of the initiatives of Zelenskyy, especially regarding the legislation to combat the oligarchs. He was also against the sanctions against the pro-Kremlin oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk.

Stefanchuk has a longer history in politics than most of his peers in the Servant of the People Party, the party behind President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. From 2016 to 2018, Stefanchuk served as an adviser to Vice-Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv. After the victory of Zelenskyy in 2019, Stefanchuk became the chief ideologist in the party.

Consolidation of power

Yesterday, Ukraine Nu wrote that Razumkov’s time was up. For the past two days, we have been quoting some relevant criticism of this decision.Vadym Karasiov, director of the Institute for Global Strategies, told Interfax-Ukraine that this would mean more power to the president:

“If the president wins this duel and Razumkov and the political forces that are grouping around him lose, this will mean strengthening presidential power, strengthening the presidential vertical with all the consequences.”

Director of the sociological service Ukrainian Barometer Viktor Nebozhenko went even further in his criticism:

“The President, in his desire to concentrate power, does not understand what political and personal threats these powers bear for him, and, on the other hand, does not understand that he is making the Ukrainian state machine corrupt,” the director of the sociological service Ukrainian Barometer concluded.