Earlier today, the Parliament of Ukraine (Verkhovna Rada) witnessed a travesty called “passage of a series of bills”.
Regardless of the content of the bills (which is abominable in itself and deserves a separate statement), we would like to emphasize that the procedure of discussing and passing the bills was completely out of compliance not only with the Ukrainian law, but also with general parliamentary procedures that are common for the civilized world.
We will just mention that the vote was by show of MPs’ hands, whilst the “results” of this vote were announced immediately after the hands were raised, and the votes were not counted, as one can clearly see in a recording of the Verkhovna Rada session. In fact, the bills were announced as “passed” only because the leadership of the parliament and the pro-government majority wanted it to pass. Whether the bills were actually supported by the majority of the MPs has not been established.
Therefore, we see an attempt to create a precedent of “law-making” without having bills approved by the parliament in due course — a precedent in which a handful of persons hijacked the Parliament’s right to legislate.
Whereas the way in which these particular bills were put to a vote failed to comply with established procedures for debating and passing bills in the Parliament and whereas the MPs’ votes for these bills were not even counted during the vote, we appeal to the President of Ukraine not to sign these bills into law.
If the President fails to veto these bills, which have not passed in actuality, and signs them into law, it will mark the beginning of a new stage of Ukraine’s on-going social and political crisis, a stage in which it would be no longer possible to urge all sides to respect law and order, since the very foundation on which law and order are built has been demolished.
Therefore, we call on all people who are interested in a peaceful resolution of the current crisis in Ukraine to do everything in their power to make the President veto the bills in question.
We call on all members of the Ukrainian Parliament to adhere, in their future lawmaking endeavors, to all procedures and rules established by the laws of Ukraine. As the Parliament is the very place where the law for the entire Ukrainian society is being created, it must demonstrate how to respect the law, instead of being a source of lawlessness.
On behalf of the Civic Organization “Maidan Monitoring Information Center,”
Natalka Zubar, chair
P.S. We tried to attract the people’s attention to this problem as early as in 2011 as shown in online resources referenced below: