KYIV -- Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to remove parliament speaker Dmytro Razumkov, amid differences between him and the ruling Servant of the People party.
A total of 284 members of the Verkhovna Rada, including 215 lawmakers from the ruling party, voted to dismiss Razumkov on October 7.
Razumkov was a member the Servant of the People party until he assumed the post of parliament speaker in 2019, months after President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was elected.
He has openly opposed the quick passing of legislation intended to limit the influence of oligarchs on politics and business.
Razumkov called for the bill to be referred to the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, a body of independent experts in the field of constitutional law, but the legislation was passed last month.
On October 3, Zelenskiy publicly criticized Razumkov, saying that he was "not a member of our team anymore," and the ruling party started the process to remove him from his post.
After his dismissal, Razumkov announced that he will remain in politics. He said that the ruling party cannot strip him off his parliamentary mandate, and he hinted at his possible candidacy in the 2024 presidential election.
"The presidential election campaign has not started yet, right? Well, they said earlier that nobody ever became president from the post of the Verkhovna Rada's head. That obstacle was removed today. We will see what happens further," he told reporters.
Deputy parliament speaker Olena Kondratyuk told the chamber that a total of five candidates had been registered to replace Razumkov.
The Servant of the People proposed a deputy speaker, Ruslan Stefanchuk, for the post.
The other candidates are Yaroslav Zheleznyak of the Holos (Voice) party, Oleksiy Honcharenko and Yana Zinkevich of the European Solidarity party, and an independent member of the parliament, Heo Leros.