Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The representatives of the deputy groups of the 8th convocation Supreme Council of Ukraine, «Volia Narodu» and «Ekonomichnyi Rozvytok», would like to inform you, in accord with the informing procedure, about an attempt to violate Article 6, Article 8, Article 15, Article 24, Article 36, Article 64, Article 80 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the Law of Ukraine «On the Committees of the Supreme Council of Ukraine», the Law of Ukraine on the «People’s Deputy Status of Ukraine», as well as the Law of Ukraine «On the Rules and Regulations of the Supreme Council of Ukraine» regarding the formation of representation and management of Supreme Council of Ukraine committees, by some representatives of the coalition formed in the Supreme Council of Ukraine.
The essence of the stated breaches consists in the fact that, while proclaiming the European principles of democracy, the representatives of the ruling coalition restrain the possibilities of people’s deputies of Ukraine prescribed by the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukrainian laws, as a matter of fact, replacing deputy group resolutions with decisions and approaches proclaimed by coalition representatives, thus imposing additional restrictions both in respect of persons and participation in the management and operation of certain committees.
As a result of such standpoint of the ruling coalition, the Supreme Council of Ukraine fails to grant the opposition and the deputies not included in the ruling coalition the possibilities to preside over the committee on budget, the committee on rules and regulations, the committee on the freedom of speech, and the committee on information, and does not adhere to any quota-based principle of position allocation, which constitutes a major violation of Ukrainian legislation.
Pursuant to Article 6 of the Constitution of Ukraine, state power in Ukraine shall be exercised based on the principle of its division into legislative, executive, and judiciary. Legislative, executive and judiciary authorities exercise their powers within the framework established by the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine.
According to Article 8 of the Constitution of Ukraine, the rule of law principle is acknowledge and applied in Ukraine. The Constitution of Ukraine possesses the highest legal power. Laws and other regulations are passed on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and must be consistent with it.
Pursuant to par. 4 of Article 81 of the Law of Ukraine «On the Rules and Regulations» of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, the allocation quotas of committee head, deputy head, secretary and committee member positions are established based on the proportion of the number of deputy faction (deputy group) members to the factual number of people’s deputies, in conformity with the procedure established by the Supreme Council.
In accord with part 1 of Procedural Guidelines On the Rights And Responsibilities Of the Opposition In a Democratic Parliament, Resolution 1601 of the Parliamentary Assembly of Europe (2008), “Democracy is founded on the right of everyone to take part in the management of public affairs; it therefore requires the existence of representative institutions at all levels and, in particular, a parliament in which all components of society are represented and which has the requisite powers and means to express the will of people by legislating and overseeing government action» (Universal Declaration on Democracy, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 1997). The Parliament with its political representation reflects the society in its diversity and works with due respect to the pluralism of opinions.
Pursuant to part. 2.3.1. оf the said PACE Resolution, opposition members are entitled to partake in the parliamentary activities management processes; they must have access to deputy head positions and other responsible positions within the Parliament; the composition of parliamentary managerial bodies must adhere to the proportional representation principle and reflect the political composition of the Parliament / Chamber, and pursuant to par. 2.5 of the said Resolution, the opposition must participate in the work of parliamentary committees.
However, to date, the principles of committee allocation by the ruling coalition regarding deputy factions and groups are not declared, transparent, and understandable.
It is inadmissible that, from the first days of its work, the Supreme Council of Ukraine of the new convocation violates the principles of transparent and democratic formation of the governing bodies of the Parliament. Artificial division of the deputy corps into those who have the right to participate in decision-making and «second rate» parliament members stands against the foundation of the European democracy model. In all of the civilized world, the rights of parliamentary minority are guarded and guaranteed even with greater fervor than those of the majority in power. This is the core principle of democracy worldwide. Therefore, an attempt to distort election results though the introduction of a cynical system of parliament member discrimination based on political affiliation is a visible example of the violation of European democratic norms.
It is noteworthy that the willingness of deputies outside the ruling coalition to undertake governing positions aims at receiving controlling functions in the committee on budget, the committee on rules and regulations, the committee on the freedom of speech, and the committee on information, as well as the possibility to exercise control over governmental activities exclusively with the purpose of protecting the freedoms and interests of their voters – Ukrainian citizens, who, when casting their vote in the election, hoped to be heard by the authorities – as well as exercising other powers by state bodies of power, which is a sustainable practice of European democracy in action and of the activities of the legislative authorities of the United States of America.
Strict adherence to the Constitution of Ukraine and the Supreme Council of Ukraine rules and regulations must become a norm in the work of the Supreme Council, and the opposition and deputy groups not included in the ruling coalition must have equal possibilities regarding presidency and participation in the committees of the Supreme Council of Ukraine.
At the plenary session of the Supreme Council of Ukraine on December 04, 2014, people’s deputies of Ukraine O. Liashko, O. Bereziuk, and non-affiliated deputy V. Parasiuk voiced insults and proposals, discriminating deputies outside the coalition. In particular, V. Parasiuk resorted to threats in respect of opposition deputies and a lady (people’s deputy N. Korolevska).
At the plenary session of the Supreme Council of Ukraine on December 09, 2014, the Supreme Council Chairman, V. Groisman, in violation of the rules and contrary to the agenda, put to vote the inclusion into the agenda of the discriminating unlawful Provision No. 1291, upon request from people’s deputies O. Liashko, O. Bereziuk, and Narodnyi Front faction representatives.
In fact, the deputies of the «Samopomich Union» Political Party faction, Oleg Liashko «Radical Party», and «Batkivshchyna All-Ukrainian Union» Political Party are creating prerequisites for the usurpation of power in the conditions of inaction or neutrality on the part of the largest parliamentary factions – «Petro Poroshenko Bloc» and «Narodnyi Front» Political Party, which only verbally proclaim adherence to constitutional norms and parliamentary rules.
Representatives of «Volia Narodu» deputy group
Representatives of «Ekonomichnyi Rozvytok» deputy group