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In Ukraine, Poroshenko's Bloc Rebrands Itself Ahead Of Parliamentary Elections


Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko

The political party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has changed its name in a bid to rebrand itself ahead of key parliamentary elections.

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc was renamed to European Solidarity at a party congress on May 24.

“The key to unity and victory is a renewed party and renewed leadership,” Poroshenko told the gathering in Kyiv.

When Ukraine will hold its next parliamentary elections is unclear.

The new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced at his inauguration on May 20 that he would dissolve parliament and call snap elections in July.

He has also called for that election to be held based entirely on voting for parties, rather than single candidates, arguing that the current system in which some seats are filled in contests between individual candidates favors corruption.

But at an emergency session of the Verkhovna Rada on May 22, only 92 lawmakers voted to discuss that proposal -- far short of the majority, 226 votes, needed to put it on the agenda.

The next parliamentary elections had been set for late October.

As he starts his term, early elections are a chance for Zelenskiy to strengthen his position and sideline allies of Poroshenko.

Zelenskiy, 41, defeated Poroshenko by a wide margin in a presidential runoff vote on April 21. Ukrainians largely faulted Poroshenko for failing to tackle corruption and lower living standards.

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