Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sixth session: Parliament convenes regular session

The Ukrainian Parliament has convened its sixth regular session. It's commencement has triggered a number of events.

Missing but not forgotten


Constitutional reform - Removal of parliamentary immunity from Criminal prosecution.

The main issue that should be before the parliament is the proposed amendments for Ukraine's constitution that removes Parliamentary immunity for criminal liability.  Amendments to the Constitution were agreed to and forwarded to the Ukraine's Constitutional Court for review.

Under the terms of Ukraine's Constitution (Chapter XIII) the Parliament had to wait until the next regular session before it could finally pass the the proposed amendments.  With the commencement of a new session these amendments can not be passed.

Strangely enough there is no mention of the proposed amendments on the agenda papers and the constitutional Court has still not delivered its decision.  These amendments should have been before the parliament this week and adopted prior to Sundays final presidential ballot. 

The media have been silent and have not raised this issue. Why?

The forced dismissal of Ukraine's parliament not an option until October

With the holding of the Sixth regular Session then provision of Article 90 of Ukraine's Constitution can not be activated until October. The Parliament can only be dismissed if the 30 days following the failure of the parliament to convene it scheduled regular session.   Even if Party of Regions their mandate on mass and cancels their electoral list as did Tymoshenko back in in 2007, the parliament can not be dismissed until 30 days following the next regular Parliamentary session which is scheduled to start in September.

The only other option for early Parliamentary elections is if a motion of no confidence is passed in the government or the governing coalition is terminated according to the rules of the Parliament.

The next six months could prove to be another challenge to Ukraine's political stability and constitutional order.

Extract from Ukraine's Constitution


Article 83


The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine works in sessions.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is competent on the condition that no less than two-thirds of its constitutional composition has been elected.


Article 83

Regular sessions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine commence on the first Tuesday of February and on the first Tuesday of September each year.

Special sessions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, with the stipulation of their agenda, are convoked by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on the demand of the President of Ukraine or on the demand of no fewer People’s Deputies of Ukraine than one-third of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.


According to election results and on the basis of a common ground achieved between various political positions, a coalition of parliamentary factions shall be formed in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to include a majority of People’s Deputies of Ukraine within the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be formed within a month from the date of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to be held following regular or special elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, or within a month from the date when activities of a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine terminated.


Framework for forming, organising, and terminating activities of a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be established by the Constitution of Ukraine and the Rules of Procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.


Article 90

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is terminated on the day of the opening of the first meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of a new convocation.

The President of Ukraine may terminate the authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine prior to the expiration of term, if:

(1) there is a failure to form within one month a coalition of parliamentary factions in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as provided for in Article 83 of this Constitution;

(2) there is a failure, within sixty days following the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, to form the personal composition of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

(3) the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine fails, within thirty days of a single regular session, to commence its plenary meetings.

The early termination of powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be decided by the President of Ukraine following relevant consultations with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and with Chairpersons of Verkhovna Rada parliamentary factions.

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, that is elected at special elections conducted after the pre-term termination by the President of Ukraine of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the previous convocation, shall not be terminated within one year from the day of its election.

The authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall not be terminated during the last six months of the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or President of Ukraine.

0 Comments: