Ukrainian Rock Star Quits Parliament But Says He'll Stay In Politics


KYIV -- Ukrainian rock star and lawmaker Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, who founded the Holos (Voice) party last year, has announced he will give up his mandate in parliament but remain in politics.

The 45-year-old Vakarchuk, who won a seat in the Verkhovna Rada in July last year, told journalists in Kyiv on June 11 that he had filed a request to leave the chamber of deputies as his mission has been "partially accomplished" by bringing "a wonderful faction to parliament."

"In the last three years there have been persistent attempts to pour dirt and negativity on my name, which failed to affect me. That started when a thought appeared in someone's paranoid imagination that I would run for president," Vakarchuk said in explaining his decision.

Vakarchuk's statement came exactly three months after he announced he was stepping down from the leadership of his party.

It is not the first time Vakarchuk has called it quits from parliament.

In 2007, the leader of the popular Okean Elzy (Elza's Ocean) rock group was elected to the Verkhovna Rada on the lists of the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense political bloc.

In September 2008, he gave up his mandate.

There are 20 Holos members in the current parliament.