Simplified system for electing Parliamentary Speaker passed into law


The President has signed into law amendments which probably make it easier to elect and dismiss the parliamentary speaker, while precluding blocs of political parties.

President Yanukovych has signed into law amendments to the Verkhovna Rada Regulations which, among other things, mean that the Verkhovna Rada will from now on vote for the Parliamentary Speaker through an open vote. This important post was up till now voted for by secret ballot. This made it less subject to the automatic “ruling majority votes” which have under the present government become the norm, with a very large number of the MPs in any case not physically present.

The ground for these changes was provided in July by the Constitutional Court which, following a submission from 51 Party of the Regions MPs, found that the special procedure for dismissing the Speaker did not comply with the Constitution.

As reported, that came remarkably soon after the Parliamentary Speaker Lytvyn publically stated that he would not sign the highly contentious language law.  He signed it soon after the Constitutional Court’s judgement. 

The new procedure applies equally to dismissal of the Speaker. reports another aspect of the new law which is that “communists and influential single-mandate electoral district MPs have lost the chance to create their own factions. It will now be harder for them to bargain with the Party of the Regions. MPs can join existing factions, or be designated non-faction MPs, but there is no mention anymore of blocs of political parties. The minimum number of members of a group must coincide with the number of members of the smallest faction. 

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