Parliament again defers vote on access to public information
The Verkhovna Rada on 22 December 2010 did not consider draft bills“On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine (on ensuring access to public information) and і “On access to public information”.
The bills were on the agenda, however the First Deputy Speaker Adam Martynyuk (Communist Party) pointed out that the text did not comply with Article 116 of the Regulations of the Verkhovna Rada. He said that the opinion from the Verkhovna Rada Legal Department comments that significant amendments to the title and text of the draft law have been made which were not considered in the first readying. It therefore needs to be sent for revising and a repeated first reading.
As reported here, efforts to get this vital law passed have been difficult. On 21 October, despite assurances to the Council of Europe, not to mention Ukrainian citizens, the draft law tabled by Andriy Shevchenko and effectively drawn up by civic organizations, failed to gain enough votes largely because only one Deputy from the Party of the Regions supported it (and none from the Communist Party).
After a “Party of the Regions” version was tabled by Olena Bondarenko and Volodymyr Landyk. Intensive negotiations began in order to prevent the law being finally stalled. A compromise had been declared by Andriy Shevchenko and Olena Bondarenko.
In parliament today, Andriy Shevchenko stressed that the draft laws were the result of long and joint efforts and it was very important to consider them together. The Head of the Party of the Regions appeared to also support this, saying that the draft bills had been corrected and nobody was in any doubt that they needed to be passed.
However Martynyuk put the possibility of considering draft law No. 7321 “On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine (on ensuring access to public information) to the vote, and it received only 217 (226 are needed).
After this, Martynyuk announced the end of the working day, so draft law“On access to public information” was also not looked at.
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