Party of the Regions extending control over parliamentary committees
The civic network OPORA reports that after receiving control over the majority of parliamentary committees at the end of last year, the Party of the Regions is now seeking to make their advantage even greater. A draft Resolution has been tabled in parliament by a Party of the Regions MP proposing amendments to the makeup of 21 committees. The draft resolution would move MPs from some committees and put them in others, and would also change who is in charge of the committees.
OPORA writes that “in other words the party in power is ready to infringe the present inter-factional agreements declared in the Resolution on Verkhovna Rada Committees of the Seventh Convocation.
The system as described in OPORA’s report certainly does not allow for public scrutiny. The majority in a particular committee is apparently agreed through behind-the-scenes negotiations. Such negotiations at the end of last year resulted in the Party of the Regions and its allies gaining control of 19 out of 29 parliamentary committees. In 7 committees controlling economic and social issues the Party of the Regions holds the majority by itself.
Party of the Regions MPs chair 13 of the most influential committees, with the chair of Budget Committee causing particular conflict since this is traditionally under the control of the opposition.
At present opposition factions control 5 committees and hold 12 leading positions, however this will change if the Party of the Regions’ amendments to the Resolution are passed (and there is no reason to believe it won’t be).
OPORA believes that the amendments could result in the Party of the Regions gaining control over yet another 2 committees. At present they hold the majority together with the communists. The two committees are those on agrarian policy, and on the fuel and energy industry.
It could also gain control over the committee on legislative support for the law enforcement bodies.
The amendments overall will give the Party of the Regions the majority in two more committees and the Party of the Regions with its allies the majority in another three committees.
Much abridged from the report