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05.09.2007

Restrict deputy immunity, but after the elections

   

Hanne Severinsen, PACE Co-Rapporteur for Ukraine believes that it is premature to consider the issue of restricting deputy immunity until after the elections.  In her words: “Immunity needs to be restricted. However I’m not certain that this issue should be reviewed by a parliament with is not essentially functional. It does not have 300 authorized deputies.”

The aim of Ms Severinsen’s delegation is to monitor the preparations to the early elections. Ms Severinsen said that they felt some concern about the procedure for home voting. She expressed her hope that this procedure would not lead to a repeat of the vote-rigging in 2004. She believes that the political situation in the country can be stabilized if the government and opposition agree a balanced text of the Constitution to be voted on in a national referendum.

Background

On Tuesday, 4 September, members of the coalition, called by the Speaker of the 5th term of the Verkhovna Rada, met in parliament in what they called a parliamentary session. During this, they voted to eliminate a number of deputy concessions, although it would not seem (as had been promised) they touched on the actual issue of deputy immunity.  This event has been condemned by the President and criticized by the opposition who suggest that it was an attempt to gain popularity and / or jeopardize the elections.  (translator) 

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