Verkhovna Rada ignores both Yushchenko and Church leaders


On Friday 17 November the Verkhovna Rada refused to consider the draft law “On Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine”, submitted by President Yushchenko.

Despite the President’s insistence on the urgency of this issue, a parliamentary majority refused to place it on the agenda, giving preference instead to discussion of items under “miscellaneous”.

The draft law was introduced by the President on 2 November in the hope that before the next anniversary of the national tragedy which is observed at the end of the month the Deputies would manage to pass the Law according to which Ukraine recognizes the Famine of 1932-1933 genocide of the Ukrainian people and would thus join the ten countries which have already done so.

The day before the President called on Deputies to support this draft law for the sake, as the appeal to Parliament and the nation read, of establishing historical justice and of the moral and spiritual regeneration of the nation.

The President’s request was endorsed by three leading Ukrainian Churches. Some had considered an optimistic sign to be the meeting on Thursday between President Yushchenko and the Speaker of Parliament Oleksandr Moroz and their discussion of the issue of recognizing Holodomor.

However on the last day of the parliamentary week, a majority, with the active participation of the socialists with the absence from the chambers of the Socialist leader Moroz, refused to add the issue to the agenda.

According to the President’s representative in the Verkhovna Rada Roman Zvarych, on that day a number of deputies from the Party of the Regions had introduced an alternative draft law on Holodomor, and the coalition had decided to create a working group which would consider both draft laws and replace the words “Genocide of the nation” to “Holodomor from which the Ukrainian people suffered”.

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