KyivPost

Gridlock in parliament looks set to stay

Print version
Feb. 20, 2013, 6:39 p.m. | Politics — by Denis Rafalsky

The blockade of parliament, initiated by the opposition to demand personal voting by all deputies, has been dragging on for 15 days, or from the day the parliament was scheduled to convene for a session. Vitali Klitschko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR) Party have been sleeping in parliament to prevent the Party of Regions from breaking the blockade.
© www.klichko.org

Denis Rafalsky

Despite a number of optimistic declarations of the past two days that the pro-presidential majority and the opposition are close to achieving a compromise on personal voting, Verkhovna Rada remains gridlocked, and prospect of truce as far as ever.

The idle parliamentarians who arrived en masse to their workplace on Feb. 20 wondered around corridors and chatted.

The blockade of parliament, initiated by the opposition to demand personal voting by all deputies, has been dragging on for 15 days, or from the day the parliament was scheduled to convene for a session. Vitali Klitschko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR) Party have been sleeping in parliament to prevent the Party of Regions from breaking the blockade.

If parliament fails to convene for 30 days, the president will get legal grounds to dismiss it and call a re-election.

On Feb. 19 leaders of most factions cautiously talked about a tentative agreement. But instead, the two sides continued to accuse each other of sabotaging the work of parliament.

The opposition said the parliamentary majority rejected an earlier agreed plan. Svoboda faction leader Oleh Tyahnybok said the agreement laid out a new voting procedure by show of hands that is seen as the most reliable way of voting. The opposition insists on tight control over the voting process until a modernized electronic voting system is launched in September.

Tyahnybok said the Regions also backed out on earlier agreement to impose sanctions on absentee deputies by a vote of 150 deputies, or a third of the parliament.” Tyahnybok says the majority proposed to up the number of deputies to 226, or simple majority, which would mean “they will always punish us but not themselves, although they preak the law themselves.”

Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of Batkivschyna faction, says the Party of Regions is trying to buy time in a hope to make the opposition quarrel.

The Party of Regions, however, rejects all accusations. Head of the committee on the parliamentary regulations Volodymyr Makeyenko said he and other members of the Regions Party faction want to see an officially registered bill with the opposition’s proposals.

“We will discuss them (official documents) as soon as we see them," Makeyenko said.

Kyiv Post staff writer Denis Rafalsky can be reached at rafalsky@kyivpost.com

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively public debate through the Disqus system. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. The Kyiv Post will ban flagrant violators. If you think that a comment or commentator should be banned, please flag the offending material.
comments powered by Disqus

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.