Ukraine parliament fires speaker amid ruling party squabbles

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Dmytro Razumkov, Russian Stefanchuk

FILE- In this Aug. 29, 2019 photo, newly elected parliament speaker Dmytro Razumkov, right, and first vice speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk attend a parliament session in Kyiv, Ukraine. Ukrainian lawmakers have voted to dismiss Razumkov, a move that comes as part of infighting in the ruling party. Razumkov was stripped of his duties Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021 by the Verkhovna Rada after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party initiated his dismissal. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, file)

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian lawmakers voted Thursday to dismiss the parliamentary speaker, a move that comes as part of infighting in the ruling party.

Dmytro Razumkov was stripped of his duties by the Verkhovna Rada after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party initiated his dismissal.

Relations between Zelenskyy and Razumkov have grown more strained recently, in particular over a bill aimed to restrict the power of big tycoons that the president pushed and the speaker opposed. Earlier this month, Zelenskyy accused Razumkov of pursuing a political agenda of his own.

Razumkov suggested after his dismissal that he could run for president in the next election. Zelenskyy hasn’t yet said whether he would seek a second term in 2024, but he’s widely expected to run again.

Volodymyr Fesenko, the head of the Penta Center Kyiv-based think tank, said that Zelenskyy’s party has retained a strong control of the parliament and Razumkov’s political maneuvering has backfired against him.

“There is no reason to expect a reconfiguration of the political field,” he said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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