Pre-election Game over Deputy Immunity
The Constitutional Court has allowed parliamentarians’ immunity to be restricted. Analysts, however, doubt that MPs will vote for removal of immunity during the autumn parliamentary session.
The Constitutional Court agreed that the point in the Constitution guaranteeing deputy immunity could be removed. According to the draft law this time put forward by deputies from the Party of the Regions, it should be put to the vote in September. However Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Centre for Political and Legal Reform, calls the bill pre-election PR and doubts that it will get enough votes to reduce these privileges.
He is sure that both the ruling majority and the opposition will organize a game aimed at putting off any vote which would remove their immunity. “The present opposition will repeat what the Party of the Regions did when they were the opposition. They will call for the simultaneous removal of immunity from both the deputies and President”.
He believes that it is illogical to link the two immunities from a legal point of view. This was the position taken by the Constitutional Court which found the removal of immunity from the President unconstitutional since procedure for impeachment is already envisaged.
Kostyantin Dikan from the Razumkov Centre also believes that the ruling majority will not vote for the draft law. He is also convinced that despite the efforts to “play this card”, that it won’t bring the politicians any votes. “Voters are little concerned about this issue. They understand that the deputies will always have immunity and privileges”. On the other hand, he says, the fact of this immunity gives them a sense of security and that their business is safe, and they therefore won’t agree to restriction of their privileges.