Задать вопрос специалисту

Приобрети журнал - получи консультацию экспертов

To top
NBU Rate

Parliament-VII: small anniversary and getting started

Olga Marchuk
economic observer


Last decade of March 2013 marked the first anniversary in work of Parliament - 100 days of Parliament-VII. Summing up this little holiday, we can say that deputies worked in session hall for eight days and adopted 10 laws. During this time tribune was double blocked and there were six fights. However, there are also positive moments. MPs began appearing at session hall on regular basis, performing constitutional duty, and almost ceased voting with someone’s cards

Blocking because of Vlasenko

On Tuesday, March 5, Verkhovna Rada has not started working. Opposition factions once again blocked tribune. Reason was accusation of Vladimir Makeyenko in falsifying regulatory committee decision, under which Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Rybak appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine with action for deprivation parliamentary powers of deputy Serhiy Vlasenko from "Rodina" fraction because he combined mandates with attorney activity. The scandal figurant says that already four years serves as public defender and is not engaged in legal profession.

MP from "Batkivschina" Vyacheslav Kytovyy brought cardboard figure of Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov to session hall of the Verkhovna Rada. "Regional" Yaroslav Sukhoi said he did not believe this is creativity: "I personally took such cardboard figure as a model of primitive cackle. This is lack of thought, serious approach to legislative work. This is not humor".

Leader of the "Batkivschina" Arsenyy Yatsenyuk said that agreement is not reached during consultations at Speaker’s office. Volodymyr Rybak will not withdraw lawsuit. Yatsenyuk noted that he tried to convince Rybak that "MPs can not be taken as glassware". At the same time, he said that among elected representatives of the Party of Regions there are 37 who combine their work, and said that will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights if an MP from his faction Sergei Vlasenko relieve deputy mandate.

Nicholas Knyazhytskyy, colleague of Arsenyy Yatsenyuk, requested Volodymyr Rybak and Regulations Committee Chairman Vladimir Makeyenko sue lifting of office 11 deputies from the Party of Regions. Reason is called a combination of these MPs work in Parliament with private business. "For us there is no selective justice! And these members did not just lost somewhere lawye’s license, but specifically and officially engaged in business"- said Knyazhytskyy.

Leader of "Svoboda" Oleg Tyagnibok said that about 20 members of current Parliament are not only the citizens of Ukraine, but also other countries. According to the leader of "Svoboda", his faction has at last filed a request to the Security Service, under which these deputies would deprive powers. Tyagnibok stressed that all part-time deputies should be deprived of authority. "You can not selectively poking fingers into unwanted ones" - he added.

Vitalyy Klitschko, chairman of the faction "Udar", told reporters about requirement for the President of Ukraine to inform deputies on results of his visit to Moscow. "For what the President flew to Moscow, and what are potential consequences of such negotiations for us, Ukrainians, or if visit to Moscow does not cancel outcome for Ukraine from EU and Ukraine's European aspirations, as we have declared a clear direction for Ukraine - European direction. And clearly we can not move in two directions"- Klitschko said. He stressed that the President shall annually serve in Parliament and clarify his vision and actions on domestic and foreign policy.

About an hour later members of the Party of Regions faction slowly began to leave the session hall. Communists followed them. Representatives of other political forces partially remained. Chairman of the "Regionals" Alexander Yefremov said he did not know whether parliament will work. "Representatives of the Party of Regions will work in committees, and where opposition will work, I do not know" - he said. MP also said that agreement to hold any negotiations were not met.

Vice Speaker Ruslan Koshulynskyy admitted that it is unclear when talks continue at speaker’s Volodymyr Rybak to unblock work. "Everything will depend on how events unfold after court decision on Vlasenko. Then we'll see"- said “Svoboda” member. "MP is confident that authorities wanted to check whether opposition factions be afraid asking questions about part-time MPs. The same opinion is shared by Vitalyy Klitschko. "They are trying to frighten deputies. What is happening today with Vlasenko is not only dangerous precedent and warning to all MPs. This means dangerous thing, society loses any impact on government" - said the head of "Udar" faction.

Representatives of the Party of Regions announced its intention to adopt law on liability of members of Parliament for blocking the Council. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled parliamentary mandate deprivation for Andrew Verevskiy from Party of Regions. Arsenyy Yatsenyuk said that by blocking parliament, opposition, among other things, intended to prevent Speaker's speech with formal notice of withdrawal deputy mandate for Serhiy Vlasenko.

EU expressed anxiety with situation of deprivation mandates for Ukrainian deputies. In particular, statement of EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner Stefan Fule was published. Thus, they "urge the Ukrainian authorities to solve this problem so as not to create impression of judicial system misuse for political purposes". The EU also stressed that final composition of the Ukrainian parliament should reflect "true will of Ukrainian voters". U.S. State Department showed concerns on Vlasenko case.

On Wednesday, March 6, continued blocking tribune and presidium of the Verkhovna Rada. Deputies from factions "Batkivschina", "Udar" and "Svoboda" took their positions in the morning. Elected representatives hung poster "Stop dictatorship" above Presidium. On Thursday, March 7, opposition continued to block parliament tribune. Vitalyy Klitschko and leaders of other opposition factions went to the Verkhovna Rada Speaker Volodymyr Rybak with claim that he did everything in his power and called President Viktor Yanukovych to parliament. Speaker did not contribute to their requirement. Vitalyy Klitschko told reporters: "Rybak refused to support our initiative and call the President in the Parliament. Government did not set up a dialogue with opposition and society and avoiding responsibility for what is happening in country".

Then thinking over

Verkhovna Rada Chairman Volodymyr Rybak suggested that Parliament will work on March 19. The same opinion was expressed by MP Alexander Briginets from "Batkivschina". "I do not exclude such case, provided certain guarantees from ruling majority. Since blocking Parliament is political, then unlocking it can also have a political nature when it comes to certain things associated with observance of law and respect for rights of Kyiv community to hold elections council and mayor of Kyiv" - he said.

Alexander Briginets in commentary to "Tyzhden" noted that in absence of compromise between opposition and majority, parliament will not be unlocked even for making a decision. "If such a consensus is not reached, I think, current city council, though illegal, but will survive current parliament. We are fully prepared to block parliament before its dissolution, if parliament does not detect signs of life"- deputy said.

Again rumors about the parliament dissolution started spreading. Leader of the party "Svoboda" Oleg Tyagnibok said that the parliament will not work and the best solution would be early parliamentary and presidential elections. His party member, Vice-Chairman Ruslan Koshulynskyy supported this position: "I think that in this part it will not work. Methods of political intimidation, refusal of any compromise with the opposition created circumstances under which Parliament can not work". Koshulynskyy also expressed belief that early elections significantly increase number of opposition MPs because MPs from the majority came to parliament in order to "enrich their own business to make profits, and the opposition forces them to go to work, to vote in person".

Opposite view was expressed by Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council, representative of the Communist Party Igor Kaletnyk. "Opposition MPs in Parliament which is now 177 and are now in minority trying to dictate terms through ultimatums and blackmail. Early termination of the current Parliament is desirable for them to script that provides further chaos and create tension in society ... I believe that dissolution of parliament will not happen"- quoted Kaletnik for parliamentary press service. Moreover, in his opinion, the last opposition intent to raise popular uprising organize nationwide protests will not find support in Ukrainian. First vice speaker believes such opposition’s initiatives are only unsuccessful attempts to PR ahead of upcoming presidential elections.

At briefing on March 18 Speaker Volodymyr Rybak said that the parliament still going to work. According to him, in agreement with all factions temporary committee of inquiry will be set up, which will review situation in five districts of violations of election law, as well as deprivation mandate of deputies from Vlasenko. "We decided on all matters, agreed on them. So I do not see any problems to block, not to perform their duties and not to work" - head of Parliament resumed.

Started working … intermittently

Indeed, in morning of March 19 "there were no signs" of blocking. MPs prepared for the plenary session, tribune of parliament was not occupied. MPs Roman Stadniychuk and Alexander Kozub done oath, whom CEC appointed instead of Sergey Vlasenko and Andrew Verevskiy. Stadniychuk was included into factions "batkivschina" and Alexander Kozub - to the Party of Regions. Head of Parliament read statement on joining unaffiliated deputy Ivan Myrnyy with the Party of Regions.

Opposition offered to consider first appointment of mayoral election in Kiev. Chairman of the faction "Udar" Vitalyy Klitschko said: "Agenda is appointment of election in Kiev. We propose to consider it first". He also proposed to amend law on local elections in order to "cover" basic mechanisms of fraud, and added that on Friday, he is waiting for report of Azarov’ government.

But shortly thereafter, a fight of deputies started in assembly hall, and later - blocking tribune. At this time cause of conflict was language issue. Opposition did not like the speech of Russian Alexander Yefremov, who, in turn, called "Svoboda" "neo-fascists". Volodymyr Rybak immediately adjourned meeting and Party of Regions MP Hanna Herman regarded the event as planned scenario by "Svoboda" to destroy parliamentarism in Ukraine, stressing that it was her personal position. Member of "Batkyvschina" Sergei Pashinsky instead said that the head of the Party of Regions Oleksandr Yefremov deliberately went to provocation in order to disrupt parliament, because "regionals" do not want to vote for election in Kiev.

After break Communist leader Petro Symonenko started speaking. Again in Russian. In response, opposition part of hall began to chant "Ukrainian" and interrupt him with shouting and whistling. Then Arsenyy Yatsenyuk went to tribune and suggested: "I appeal to the Communists and the Party of Regions, you still have texts written on pieces of paper, but we agree to translate them from Russian into Ukrainian".

Another flurry of emotions aroused after deputies voting with other people's cards. After "hot" negotiations, multiple voting and clashes reported establishment of observers to monitor the vote of individual MPs. Coordination of this working group was assigned to MPs Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Hmil and Maxim Bourbak. Andriy Shevchenko also appealed to journalists asking to participate in this process: "Today your camera lenses created history of Ukraine. Defending personal vote is devending parliamentarism, and God willing, beginning to establish order in Ukraine".

Another controversial issue where parliamentarians could not find common points of contact, was the question of calling elections for mayor of capitol. Arsenyy Yatsenyuk asked to "start on elections of Kyiv mayor and city council, and then vote for resolutions, because constitutional terms - is June 2, and we have no right to delay this" - Yatsenyuk said. Meanwhile, 48 deputies appealed to the Constitutional Court with request to explain legitimacy of elections on 2 June. However, they did not really listen to wishes of opposition and appointed session on March 20.

That day parliament session, where 392 deputies registered, again started with "verbal conflict". First MP from the Party of Regions Inna Bogoslovska was on tribune. Her statement "regional" member began in Ukrainian, but then switched to Russian. Her performance was muffled with opposition MPs who chanted: "Ukrainian!" Member of "Batkivschina" Alexander Briginets suggested that way the government is trying to delay adoption of awkward issues including date of Kyiv mayor elections.

Then one by one they on purpose refused to vote. Opposition did not want to continue voting on local elections because of refusal of the Party of Regions to vote for calling early elections for Vasilkov mayor in Kiev region. After that, parliament could not appoint special election in Alchevsk. Only the next day they managed adopting resolution on Vasilkov, complete consideration on 117 resolutions regarding appointment of early local elections to vote for appointment of early local elections for mayors of Alchevsk and Yalta. Also early local elections were appointed in 44 rural councils.

After difficult discussions and considering, Parliament also adopted the draft resolution "On appointment next elections in Kyiv city council and mayor of Kiev". 293 from 365 MPs registered in the session hall voted for this decision. Communist faction did not vote in the full. Draft resolution was supported by 146 deputies from the Party of Regions, 73 - from fraction "Batkivschina", 33 - from fraction "Udar", 32 - from "Svoboda" and 9 - from unaffiliated. Document stipulates duty to appoint election of deputies and mayor on June 2, 2013. Also, deputies decided to halve term of draft resolution for second reading.

Before voting, leader of the Party of Regions fraction Oleksandr Yefremov once again said that PR fraction will vote to adopt the whole of this decree only after the Constitutional Court will issue its decision on proposal of 48 MPs regarding timing of election in capital. According to him, if the CC will be on time to give explanation till project will be prepared for the second reading, "we will vote for decision of the Constitutional Court, and if not, we will wait for decision". Meanwhile MP Petro Poroshenko (independent) said that there is not even one word in draft resolution about necessity of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine decision on this issue.

On Friday, March 22, to Parliament all members of the Cabinet were invited for an hour of questions to the government. Representatives of opposition groups met with members of the government led by Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov with shouts "Shame!" And the Party of Regions – with applause. Rybak said that fractions leaders have not decided on theme of question hour to government. According to him, most of questions were within competence of the Ministry of Social Policy, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance.

Minister of Social Policy Nataliia Korolevska, Health Minister Raisa Bohatyryova and Deputy Finance Minister Anatoly Miarkovsky, answered questions from fractions and deputies, they informed about structural changes in budget funds that occur at local level, answered questions related to debt policy and more. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, Deputy Prime Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Tabachnik, Minister of income and fees Alexander Klimenko also participated in discussion.

Mykola Azarov also said that the government has developed program of economy revitalization and approved it at meeting. This program should provide economic growth in Ukraine. Deputies noticed that they wanted to hear during Question Hour specific answers not "progress reports" from government ministers to questions that interest them.

MPs work with voters 25-29 March. Next plenary meeting of the second session will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

In the meantime:

MP from "Batkivschina" Andryy Pyshnyy released figures from the Report on budget implementation to the Supreme Council. 784 922.5 thous. were envisaged by Law on Budget for 2012 to finance the Parliament. Cash expenditures amounted to 768 126.8 thous.

269 ​​535.8 thousand was spent on salaries of MPs; 93 732.3 - reimbursement of MPs expenses on the exercise of powers, 20 613,3 - pay for hotels, 16 125,6 - fares to constituencies; 4478,4 - payment of contributions to international organizations whose members is Parliament, 1716,4 - payment of prizes and fellowships of parliament, 5 041,9 - paid trips during official visits abroad, 24 854,7 - current expenditure on maintenance of Parliament ( charges for rent in constituencies coverage of media, acquisition of paper stationery).

173 109.2 thousand were spent for organizational maintenance of Parliament and logistics, maintenance of office buildings - 61 816.0 thousand, provision of vehicle maintenance - 38 304.1 thousand, funding houses - 2 607.8 thousand, financial support of Parliament canteen - 3 300.0 thousand. 7 875.6 thous. spent on funding spa complex management of the Supreme Council. 29 513.9 thousand were spent for coverage the MPs activities in newspapers "Voice of Ukraine" and "Veche".

Incidentally Alexandra Kuzhel, MP from "Batkivschina", said at TVi channel that for plenary days when Parliament was blocked, the MPs salary is not counted. "Any deputy has not received wages. I'll agree to this, I am signing schedule bills to pay" - she said.

Add comment

Security code

Что для Вас криптовалюта?

Виртуальные «фантики», крупная махинация вроде финансовой пирамиды - 42.3%
Новая эволюционная ступень финансовых отношений - 25.9%
Чем бы она не являлась, тема требует изучения и законодательного регулирования - 20.8%
Даже знать не хочу что это. Я – евро-долларовый консерватор - 6.2%
Очень выгодные вложения, я уже приобретаю и буду приобретать биткоины - 4.3%

29 августа вступила в силу законодательная норма о начислении штрафов-компенсаций за несвоевременную выплату алиментов (от 20 до 50%). Компенсации будут перечисляться детям

В нашей стране стоит сто раз продумать, прежде чем рожать детей - 33.3%
Лучше бы государство изобретало механизмы финансовой поддержки института семьи в условиях кризиса - 29.3%
Это не уменьшит числа разводов, но заставит отцов подходить к вопросу ответственно - 26.7%
Эта норма важна для сохранения «института отцовства». Поддерживаю - 9.3%