Latest Ukraine MP infected with virus, postponing special session
Ukraine’s latest member of parliament, Serhiy Rudyk, has contracted the coronavirus, raising the total number to four, the pravda.com.ua news site reported on Mar. 24. As a result, a special session planned for Thursday, Mar. 26 is postponed for Mar. 28, the news site said. The bills being drafted enable conducting sessions and committee meetings in video conference mode (with one-by-one voting) for at least two months, introduce measures to cope with the coronavirus, improve social and economic conditions amid virus conditions, amend the budget and satisfy IMF requirements, particularly with prohibiting the return of failed banks to former shareholders, the news site said.
Zenon Zawada: Conducting parliamentary sessions and committee meetings online makes sense. However, the more controversial measures being planned, related to the launch of the farmland market and possible concessions to Russia in Donbas, will draw fierce opposition from those who believe such critical matters need to handled in the building itself, in order to allow for public protests outside. Otherwise, public opinion won’t be adequately expressed online, they will argue. We expect that parliament will nonetheless move forward with voting on such controversial measures, especially the farmland market bill, which is being required by the IMF.