OPORA: decisions taken by “alternative parliament” are not legitimate
The civic network OPORA has issued a statement regarding the events on Thursday when members of the ruling majority chose to bypass the blockade of the Verkhovna Rada by holding what they claimed to be a plenary session in the parliamentary committee building on Bankova St.
OPORA calls the actions dubious both from a legal and a political point of view. They undermine the role of the Verkhovna Rada still further, discredit parliamentarians and create a highly dangerous precedent.
OPORA is adamant that all decisions taken on that occasion must be reviewed in the legal manner and voted upon in the Verkhovna Rada at its plenary session.
There also needs to be negotiation between the ruling majority and opposition to ensure the stable functioning of parliament.
While Article 2 § 1 of the Verkhovna Rada Regulations stipulate that parliamentary sessions should be in parliament on Hrushevsky St, § 2 of the same Article does say that the Verkhovna Rada may decide to hold the session elsewhere. This, however, must be a decision of the majority, whereas on Thursday the decision was taken during a meeting of the Party of the Regions, the Communist Party and some (officially) non-affiliated MPs. The decision was thus not legitimate, and other MPs from the opposition were actually prevented from entering the building on Bankova St. This contravenes the principle of joint parliamentary work and bears the hallmark of the usurping of parliamentary powers.
OPORA lists other objections, including doubts about the vote-count.
As reported, the events on Thursday were very far from what one expects of a parliamentary democracy. Of particular concern is the fact that laws were “passed” in this extraordinary fashion and there have been statements from people with position suggesting that President Yanukovych is prepared to sign these.