Rare consensus, but motives of shame improbable
On Tuesday 283 MPs from both the government and the opposition voted to hold sessions once a week and 357 MPs voted to cancel direct television broadcast of these illustrious events. The session on Tuesday lasted just one hour. During this they passed a timetable according to which they will work in factions from 19 to 21 December; in committees from 26-28. Before New Year they will meet once, on 25 December.
Radio Svoboda reports independent MP Oleksy Doniy as saying that by no means all MPs support this. He believes that parliament must work systematically and in a stable manner. This, he says, means everyday. “Why do other Ukrainian citizens work everyday, but MPs only have to work 4 times a month? Just because oligarchs from the Party of the Regions aren’t capable of going to work each day.”
The Party of the Regions is also supposed to be working on amendments to Verkhovna Rada Regulations to ensure personal voting. According to Serhiy Tihipko, now officially in the Party of the Regions, they want to apply European experience “which makes it possible to vote personally for all decisions, but at the same time gives factions which have a majority of plus one vote the opportunity to work effectively”.
The Party of the Regions is also proposed votes just once a week.
During his address, Tihipko also threatened to block parliament’s work if the opposition does not allow MPs to make their speeches in Russian. The head of the VO Svoboda Party, Oleh Tyahnybok retorted that his party is only observing Ukrainian legislation.
With respect to coverage of parliamentary sessions, which last week, as so often before, involved fists and bloody nodes, from now on only the opening, the election or dismissal of Speaker and swearing in of the President will be broadcast.
Very loosely based on a report at Radio Svoboda