Ukraine parliament approves procedure change, drawing criticism
Ukraine’s parliament approved on Sept. 10 changes to procedure to restrict the individual initiatives of MPs to register a draft resolution to cancel rulings made by parliament. The measure drew 234 votes in favor from the MPs of The People’s Servant party. The European Solidarity party, led by former President Poroshenko, opposed both the content of the legislation and violations of procedure in which it was passed. “Five years ago, ‘green men’ took over Crimea,” said from the tribune Iryna Herashchenko, an MP and previous first deputy speaker. “Now ‘green men’ are taking over the Ukrainian parliament and are truly and fully crossing it out.” Her comments drew immediate rebuke from Parliamentary Speaker Dmytro Razumkov, who called them unacceptable.
Earlier that session, parliament approved a bill canceling earlier legislation requiring that judicial procedural rulings, limiting the rights of citizens, must be approved by the procedure’s director and the court’s investigator. It also cancels the legislation’s limitations on such investigations to three or six months, the pravda.com.ua news site reported, adding that these requirements were alleged to help former Party of Regions officials to avoid criminal prosecution. The approved bill also gives the State Bureau of Investigations and National Anti-Corruption Bureau the right to wiretap state officials independently. The bill also calls for removing norms in current laws that require parliamentary approval for conduct a search of an MP, personal items, transport or residence, as well as accessing their written correspondences, telephone calls and other communication.