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Ukrainian parliament rejects PM's resignation

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Kiev (AFP)

Ukraine's parliament Thursday rejected the prime minister's resignation, despite new president Volodymyr Zelensky urging the government to quit their posts ahead of a snap election.

Volodymyr Groysman, considered close to ex-president Petro Poroshenko, presented his resignation to newly inaugurated Zelensky last week, pending parliamentary approval.

"I thank you," the 41-year-old told parliament after they voted to keep him in.

Groysman, who has been in office for three years, said before the vote he was ready to accept any decision lawmakers made.

Zelensky does not command majority support in the current parliament and has called an election for July 21.

His new party is leading in the polls but it is not yet clear whether it will win a majority in the vote.

Groysman has said he will stand in the election.

Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian, was sworn in as Ukraine's sixth president and used his inaugural speech to announce the dissolution of parliament, the Verkhovna Rada.

He urged ministers to resign, despite Ukrainian law obliging the government to do so only after parliamentary elections.

He has called for the sacking of the head of the state security service, prosecutor-general and defence minister who are loyal to his predecessor.

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