Photo from UNIAN

President Volodymyr Zelensky would reportedly like to see Vice Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ruslan Stefanchuk, replace Dmytro Razumkov on Parliament's top post, and the relevant work is underway to prepare the soil for the reshuffle, sources say.

According to Ukrayinska Pravda, the reason behind the intention to replace the speaker is allegedly the independence of the incumbent Rada Chairman Dmytro Razumkov, who the authors say has his own political ambitions and tries not to be "dependent" on the President's Office, which is reportedly an issue for the latter.

The publication notes that Stefanchuk still looks like the most acceptable candidate for the speaker's post, but he lacks media support.

"According to Zelensky's entourage, the president wouldn't mind putting Stefanchuk a step up in the parliamentary hierarchy. But there is a problem – that position is already taken," the article reads.

At the same time, the issue of replacing the speaker will not be forced just yet, because to this end it if first necessary to publicly explain why Razumkov doesn't suit his post and find votes in Stefanchuk's support.

To promote the vice-speaker and fix Zelensky's "disappointing sociological results", special "troikas" were set up, dealing with various issues. Stefanchuk is supposed to moderate their work to form for himself the image of a "statesman".

According to the publication's sources, the "troikas" are some 20 profile groups, each of which includes a chair of a Rada committee, a Cabinet member, and a deputy head of the Presidential Office. Their task is to draw up a plan and draft laws that would fit the president's campaign line.

Read alsoZelensky remains on top of presidential rating – pollA government official has told the outlet, "There's an economic troika, as well as the financial, tax ones, etc. There are about as many committees in the Rada as there are troikas. They decide what laws need to be drafted to ensure that Zelensky's campaign promises are fulfilled, what exactly should be laid down in them and when can they be submitted to committees and the session hall."

Razumkov, however, is not involved in the troikas' work, the report says.

Survey data

According to a poll conducted by the Razumkov Center (named after Dmytro Razumkov's late father, ex-NSDC deputy secretary who died in 1999), the Verkhovna Rada chairman would lose to Zelensky in the potential election runoff, while 40% of those who will go to the polls and have made up their mind on electoral preferences.

After almost catching up with Zelensky in public trust rating, Razumkov was asked whether he was planning to run for president. The parliament speaker has not commented on the issue so far.

Razumkov is called Zelensky's main rival if he decides to run for a second term.

On February 2, President Vladimir Zelensky put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of February 2, 2021, on the application of sanctions against People's Deputy Taras Kozak and TV channels of Putin's godfather Viktor Medvedchuk: "112 Ukraine", NewsOne, ZIK. Meanwhile, Parliament Speaker Dmitry Razumkov abstained from voting on the decision.

Razumkov elected for Parliament Speaker's post: Background

Razumkov, who was a leader of the pro-President Servant of the People party, became Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada on August 29, 2019.

When he was elected parliament speaker, he received the largest ever support of people's deputies with 382 legislators endorsing his nomination.