Kiev: The newly-elected Ukrainian parliament held its first session Thursday to swear in lawmakers and form committees.
The incumbent parliament Speaker, Olexandr Turchynov, hosted the inauguration ceremony, in which lawmakers vowed to serve the people of Ukraine and protect the country`s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Xinhua reported.
After the ceremony, one minute of silence was observed in honour of the victims of the conflicts in eastern Ukraine and people who had been killed last winter in the protests that eventually ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych.
Later in the day, the lawmakers are expected to elect a new speaker and a new prime minister, establish parliamentary committees, and draft a list of the parliament`s political priorities.
Parliamentary elections were held Oct 26. However, since the elections could not be held in some constituencies in the eastern regions, only 423 lawmakers were elected, leaving 27 vacant seats in the 450-seat unicameral Verkhovna Rada.
The largest political forces in parliament are Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk`s People`s Front Party and President Petro Poroshenko`s bloc.