The reversal came two weeks after a majority in the same body – 244 lawmakers – voted for the legislation in the first reading.
Even though the law won initial passage from the pro-presidential Party of Regions, President Viktor Yanukovych came out against the law after its passage and urged the measure’s sponsor, Party of Regions deputy Vitaliy Zuraskiy, to kill the legislation. Zuraskiy also found support from the Communist Party and members of Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn’s bloc. Zhuravskiy held a 30-second press briefing, during which he thanked journalists and said: “The issue is now off the agenda.”
Opposition leader and former parliament speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk called the quick and decisive reversal “a victory of civil society and journalists in particular.”